Send to

Choose Destination
Analyst. 2013 Aug 7;138(15):4215-28. doi: 10.1039/c3an36896c. Epub 2013 May 9.

Beyond the ridge pattern: multi-informative analysis of latent fingermarks by MALDI mass spectrometry.

Author information

Biomedical Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK.


After over a century, fingerprints are still one of the most powerful means of biometric identification. The conventional forensic workflow for suspect identification consists of (i) recovering latent marks from crime scenes using the appropriate enhancement technique and (ii) obtaining an image of the mark to compare either against known suspect prints and/or to search in a Fingerprint Database. The suspect is identified through matching the ridge pattern and local characteristics of the ridge pattern (minutiae). However successful, there are a number of scenarios in which this process may fail; they include the recovery of partial, distorted or smudged marks, poor quality of the image resulting from inadequacy of the enhancement technique applied, extensive scarring/abrasion of the fingertips or absence of suspect's fingerprint records in the database. In all of these instances it would be very desirable to have a technology able to provide additional information from a fingermark exploiting its endogenous and exogenous chemical content. This opportunity could potentially provide new investigative leads, especially when the fingermark comparison and match process fails. We have demonstrated that Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry and Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MALDI MSI) can provide multiple images of the same fingermark in one analysis simultaneous with additional intelligence. Here, a review on the pioneering use and development of MALDI MSI for the analysis of latent fingermarks is presented along with the latest achievements on the forensic intelligence retrievable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Royal Society of Chemistry
Loading ...
Support Center