Photo- and thermal-degradation studies of select eccrine fingerprint constituents

Giorgia De Paoli, Samuel A. Lewis, Ellyn L. Schuette, Linda A. Lewis, Raynella M. Connatser, Tivadar Farkas

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    50 Citations (Scopus)


    Photo- and thermal-degradation studies on eccrine fingerprint components are presented herein. Dilute distinct solutions of urea, lactic acid, and seven amino acids were deposited on steel coupons and Teflon (R) disks, exposed to artificial sunlight or heat, extracted, and analyzed. This aim of this study was to determine whether the investigated eccrine components, previously determined to be Raman active for a parallel study, experienced photo- or thermally induced degradation, and if so, to determine the rate and identify any detectable products. Neither the amino acids nor urea exhibited photo-degradation; however, when heated for a period of three minutes, the onset of thermal-degradation was initiated at 100 degrees C for the amino acids and 100 degrees C for urea. Lactic acid, the major polymerization initiator of superglue fuming, showed photochemical and thermal-degradation. These results could be used for future development of new latent fingerprint visualization methods, especially when lactic acid is degraded.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)962-969
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


    • Forensic science
    • Latent fingerprint
    • Fingerprint chemistry
    • Artificial eccrine fingerprint
    • Photo-degradation
    • Thermal-degradation
    • Liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry
    • Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry
    • Amino acid metabolism
    • Inherited disorders
    • Biological interest
    • Diagnosis
    • Spectrometry
    • Tool


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