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Effect of Aging and Surface Interactions on the Diffusion of Endogenous Compounds in Latent Fingerprints Studied by Mass Spectrometry Imaging

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 63 Issue: 3 Dated: 2018 Pages: 708-713
Date Published
6 pages

Since the ability to determine the age of fingerprints would be immeasurably beneficial in criminal investigations, this study examined the possibility of determining the age of fingerprints by analyzing various compounds as they diffuse from the ridges to the valleys of fingerprints, using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging.


The diffusion of two classes of endogenous fingerprint compounds, fatty acids and triacylglycerols (TGs), was studied in fresh and aged fingerprints on four surfaces. This result further complicates utilizing a diffusion model to age fingerprints. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018