Nanotechnology and forensics
Volume 12, Issue 6, Page 6 | Mike Pitkethly
ROAR Particles have looked at extending the use of fingerprints beyond purely improving the definition of the fingerprints.
They have been developing nano-powders that have been engineered to enable them to be used in conjunction with SALDI-TOF2-MS.(Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (TOF)/reflectron (RTOF) mass spectrometry)
This means that when a fingerprint is developed using these powders, the chemicals, both the residues from contact with other materials and excreted, that form part of the fingerprint, can be analyzed and identified.
For example, if the donor of the print has been handling explosives or illegal drugs, then the contact residues will appear in the fingerprint and can be identified.
This is only possible with these nano-engineered powders.
Since the sweat and other secretions are also a means of removing waste chemicals from the body, the analysis can be taken a stage further and the excreted metabolites can also be identified.
So for example the drug users can be differentiated from those who have only handled the drugs.