New forensic fingerprinting approach retrieves elusive prints

New forensic fingerprinting approach retrieves elusive prints

Forensics experts can't always retrieve fingerprints from objects, but a new coating process developed by Penn State professors may change that. The process reveals hard-to-develop fingerprints on nonporous surfaces without altering the chemistry of the print. A coating application suggested by Robert Shaler, founding director of the Penn State forensic science program, and Ahklesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder professor in engineering science and mechanics, uses the physical properties of the fingerprint, not the chemistry of the substances left behind. Another benefit of this approach is the ability to retrieve fingerprints off fragments from explosive devices while still being able to analyze the chemicals used in the device. For more details, go to live.psu.edu Produced by C. Roy Parker