Drug residue can be detected in fingerprints left at crime scenes

Apr 10, 2024 Researchers have unveiled a groundbreaking method capable of detecting drug substances from fingerprints lifted from crime scenes, which could provide fresh insights into unsolved cases. The technique is sheath-flow probe electrospray ionization. Supplied by Meg Cox M.A.Cox@lboro.ac.uk

A researcher uses a chemical to extract drug residue from fingerprints

Loughborough University

Forensic scientists have developed a new technique that can detect drug and explosive residue on fingerprint samples from crime scenes.

“That information, the presence of drug particles, is an almost untapped resource,” says James Reynolds at Loughborough University in the UK. That is because investigators use thin gelatine layers, called gel lifters, to lift fingerprints. These introduce chemicals to samples, making it difficult to identify trace amounts of drugs or explosives on them.

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