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Carbon-Based Fingerprint Powder as a One-Step Development and Matrix Application for High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Latent Fingerprints

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 64 Issue: 4 Dated: 2019 Pages: 1048-1056
Date Published
9 pages
Since researchers have refrained from using carbon based fingerprint powder (CFP ) as a matrix due to high background and contamination, the current study reassessed the compatibility of CFP with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS ) and its imaging (MALDI MSI ), using a high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS) and compared to traditional organic matrices.

The study found that relevant fingerprint compounds were easily distinguished from carbon cluster peaks when using HRMS. For fair comparison, half of a fingerprint was dusted with CFP while the other half was dusted with traditional organic matrices. All compounds studied had comparable, or higher, signal to noise (S/N) ratios when CFP was used as the matrix. Additionally, chemical image qualities closely followed the trend of S/N ratios. CFP proved to be an effective one-step development and matrix application technique for MALDI MSI of latent fingerprints, when carbon cluster peaks are well separated by a HRMS. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019