U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Fingerprint Analysis: Moving Toward Multiattribute Determination via Individual Markers

NCJ Number
Analytical Chemistry Volume: 90 Issue: 3 Dated: December 2018 Pages: 2401-2401
Date Published
December 2018
1 page

This article describes the past and current work of the authors' efforts to identify the personal attributes of a person of interest solely from a fingerprint.


To date, an enzymatic assay and two chemical assays have been developed for the analysis of multiple analytes. The current article reports two additional assays have been developed. This time, however, the assays utilize only one amino acid each. The enzymatic assay targets alanine and employs alanine transaminase (ALT), pyruvate oxidase (POx), and horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The other, a chemical assay, is known as the Sakaguchi test and targets arginine. It is important to note that alanine has a significantly higher concentration than arginine in the fingerprint content of both males and females. Both assays proved to be capable of accurately differentiating between male and female fingerprints, regardless of their respective average concentration. The ability to target a single analyte will transform forensic science as each originator attribute can be correlated to a different analyte. This would then lead to the possibility of identifying multiple attributes from a single fingerprint sample. Ultimately, this would allow for a profile of a person of interest to be established without the need for time-consuming lab processes. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: December 1, 2018