A synthetic fingerprint solution and its importance in DNA transfer, persistence and recovery studies

Hilary Arsenault, Niamh Nic Daeid, Alexander Gray (Lead / Corresponding author)

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A review of the literature on DNA transfer and persistence highlights many difficulties that are encountered when conducting research of this nature. One of the main problems highlighted repeatedly in the literature is the prevalence of inherent uncontrolled variation that accompany these studies, and in turn, the results obtained. This work aims to decrease the amount of intrinsic variability associated with DNA transfer and persistence experiments using a realistic proxy solution which is adaptable, of known composition, reproducible, and capable of being standardised. This proxy is composed of three parts: a synthetic fingerprint solution, cellular DNA, and cell free DNA. In this proof-of-concept study the proxy was tested with a small-scale DNA transfer and recovery experiment and the data obtained suggests that the use of a solution that mimics real fingerprint secretions, over an alternative (such as buffer or a body fluid), is important when working with non-donor provided trace DNA samples. This is because the DNA deposit solution likely impacts the transfer of DNA from fingers/hands to a surface as well as the ability to recover the biological material once deposited.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100330
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International: Synergy
Early online date15 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • DNA
  • Transfer
  • Persistence
  • Recovery cellular DNA
  • Cell free DNA
  • Synthetic fingerprint solution
  • Cellular DNA
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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