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Development of a GC-MS Method for the Simultaneous Analysis of Latent Fingerprint Components

Croxton, Ruth S.; Baron, Mark G.; Butler, David; Kent, Terry; Sears, Vaughn G.


Mark G. Baron

David Butler

Terry Kent

Vaughn G. Sears


Latent fingerprint residue is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic compounds. A full understanding of the composition of this mixture and how it changes after deposition is lacking. Three solvent systems were compared for the simultaneous extraction and derivatization with ethyl chloroformate of selected amino and fatty acids from a nonporous substrate (Mylars) for subsequent analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A solvent system comprised of sodium hydroxide, ethanol, and pyridine was found to be the most effective. This method was applied to the analysis of latent fingerprint residue deposited on Mylars and preliminary data are presented. Twelve amino acids (e.g., serine, glycine, and aspartic acid) and 10 fatty acids (e.g., tetradecanoic, hexadecanoic, and octadecanoic acids) were identified. The potential application of this method to further the understanding of latent fingerprint chemistry has been demonstrated.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2006-11
Journal Journal of Forensic Sciences
Print ISSN 0022-1198
Electronic ISSN 1556-4029
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 6
Pages 1329-1333
APA6 Citation Croxton, R. S., Baron, M. G., Butler, D., Kent, T., & Sears, V. G. (2006). Development of a GC-MS Method for the Simultaneous Analysis of Latent Fingerprint Components. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 51(6), 1329-1333.
Keywords Forensic science; Latent fingerprints; Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; Ethyl chloroformate; Latent fingerprint components; Amino acids; Fatty acids
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