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Home > News > Researchers think drug use can be detected in fingerprints

October 12th, 2007

Researchers think drug use can be detected in fingerprints

Abstract:
Whenever someone touches a surface with their fingers, they leave behind a latent print - an impression of the ridges on their fingertips. That impression contains sweat, oils from the skin and fatty acids. Russell and his team of British scientists are using the compounds left behind in sweat to establish drug use.

To do this, they attach chemical markers to gold nanoparticles, mix those with an illuminating dye, and splash the solution over the latent print. Each gold nanoparticle binds to a specific substance - if that substance is hidden in the print - causing the dye to illuminate that compound and enabling the researchers to ‘see' the information contained in the print.

"We are aiming to produce a solution that can detect a range of substances and produce a different color for each, so it will be possible to look at a fingerprint and obtain a lifestyle profile from it," Russell says in a press release.

Source:
scienceline.org

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