Study of latent fingermarks by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging of endogenous lipids

WOLSTENHOLME, R., BRADSHAW, R., CLENCH, M. R. and FRANCESE, S. (2009). Study of latent fingermarks by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging of endogenous lipids. Rapid communications in mass spectrometry, 23 (19), 3031-3039.

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Link to published version:: 10.1002/rcm.4218

Abstract

Identification of suspects via fingermark analysis is one of the mainstays of forensic science. The success in matching fingermarks, using conventional fingermark scanning and database searching, strongly relies on the enhancement method adopted for fingermark recovery; this in turn depends on the components present in the fingermarks, which will change over time. This work aims to develop a robust methodology for improved analytical detection of the fingermark components. For the first time, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) has been used to image endogenous lipids from fresh and aged, groomed and ungroomed fingermarks. The methodology was initially developed using oleic acid which was detected along with its degradation products over a 7-day period, at three different temperatures in a time-course experiment. The optimised methodology was then transferred to the imaging analysis of real fingermark samples. Fingermark patterns were reconstructed by retrieving the m/z values of oleic acid and its degradation products. This allowed the three aged fingermarks to be distinguished. In order to prove that MALDIMSI can be used in a non-destructive way, a simple washing protocol was adopted which returned a fingermark that could be further investigated with classical forensic approaches. The work reported here proves the potential and the feasibility of MALDI-MSI for the forensic analysis of fingermarks, thus making it competitive with other MSI techniques such as desorption electrospray ionisation (DESI)-MS. The feasibility of using MALDI-MSI in fingermark ageing studies is also demonstrated along with the potential to be integrated into routine fingermark forensic analysis.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Biomedical Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1002/rcm.4218
Depositing User: Sarah Ward
Date Deposited: 13 May 2010 09:38
Last Modified: 13 May 2010 09:38
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1900

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