Scientists create a new fingerprint detection technique that makes them glow

Scientists create a new fingerprint detection technique that makes them glow

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After burglars broke into his house, Australian scientist Dr. Kang Liang was very frustrated to see that the local police couldn’t identify any fingerprints left by the criminals. So he decided it was about time to develop a new – and more efficient – crime scene identification technique for fingerprint detection and analysis.

Liang and the researchers at Australia’s CSIRO, developed a liquid containing metal organic framework (MOF) crystals which binds to the residues – such as fatty acids, proteins, peptides and salts – in fingerprints. When applied to surfaces, this liquid creates an ultrathin layer over the fingerprint, making it glow bright green in less than 30 seconds.

The contrast between the latent print and surface enables the fingerprint to be easily be photographed and sent for analysis, straight from the crime scene. Dr. Liang says his new digital identification method is not only much faster and convenient than the conventional methods, but is also cheaper too.

“Knowing that dusting has been around for a long time, I was inspired to see how new innovative materials could be applied to create even better results,” he said. “While police and forensics experts use a range of different techniques, sometimes in complex cases evidence needs to be sent off to a lab where heat and vacuum treatment is applied. Our method reduces these steps, and because it’s done on the spot, a digital device could be used at the scene to capture images of the glowing prints to run through the database in real time.” The full research paper can be accessed from Advanced Materials. Source and images: CSIRO// g?c=a+f+c:(g+=f.length,f=a.indexOf(“&”,g),c=0