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1. WO2010007443 - METHODS OF DETERMINING PROPERTIES OF LATENT FINGERPRINTS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1 . A method for determining at least one property of a latent fingerprint deposited on a substrate, comprising: (a) contacting the latent fingerprint with an adhesive surface of a first lifting element, to form a first lifted fingerprint on the surface of the first lifting element; and subsequently

(b) contacting the latent fingerprint with an adhesive surface of a second lifting element to form a second lifted fingerprint on the surface of the second lifting element.

2. The method of claim 1 , which is for determining at least two properties of a latent fingerprint.

3. The method of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the surface of the first lifting element has an adhesive strength which is equal to or less than the adhesive strength of the surface of the second lifting element.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the surface of the first lifting element has an adhesive strength which is less than the adhesive strength of the surface of the second lifting element.

5. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the adhesive surface of the first lifting element has an adhesive strength such that, upon contact with the latent fingerprint, the adhesive surface is capable of removing some but not all the latent fingerprint, thereby leaving a portion of the latent fingerprint remaining on the substrate.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the adhesive surface of the second lifting element has an adhesive strength such that, upon contact with the latent fingerprint, the adhesive surface is capable of removing substantially all the latent fingerprint.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the adhesive surface of the second lifting element has an adhesive strength such that the adhesive surface is capable of removing substantially all of the portion of the latent fingerprint remaining on the substrate.

8. The method of any of claims 5 to 7, wherein the adhesive surface of the first lifting element has an adhesive strength such that it is capable of lifting less than 100% of the latent fingerprint.

9. The method of any of claims 5 to 8, wherein the adhesive surface of the first lifting element has an adhesive strength which is capable of lifting less than 90% of the latent fingerprint, optionally less than around 80% of the latent fingerprint, and further optionally less than around 70% of the latent fingerprint and even further optionally less than around 60% of the latent fingerprint and further optionally less than around 50% of the latent fingerprint.

10. The method of any preceding claim, which further comprises contacting an area where there is or may be a latent fingerprint with a first developing agent, prior to step (a).

1 1 . The method of claim 10, wherein the step of contacting the area with the first developing agent comprises spraying the area with a suspension comprising the first developing agent.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein the step of contacting the area with the first developing agent comprises brushing the area with a powder comprising the first developing agent.

13. The method of any preceding claim, which further comprises a step of contacting the latent fingerprint with a second developing agent, after step (a) and prior to step (b).

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the second developing agent is (1 ) capable of acting as a matrix agent in a matrix-assisted mass spectrometry technique and (2) capable of binding to one or more constituents in the latent fingerprint.

15. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the first lifting element and the second lifting element are independently selected from a tape, a magnetisable particle and a gel

16. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the first developing agent is selected from an aluminium powder, a bi-chromatic powder and a silica particle.

17. The method of any preceding claim, which comprises analysing the first lifted fingerprint to determine a pattern of the latent fingerprint, wherein optionally said analysis is performed using a solid-state fingerprint reader and/or an optical fingerprint reader

18. The method of any preceding claim, which comprises a step of identifying a subject who deposited the latent fingerprint by analysing the first lifted fingerprint.

19. The method of claim 18, which comprises comparing the first lifted fingerprint to one or more fingerprints to thereby identify the subject, wherein optionally said one or more fingerprints are stored in a database.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising covering the surface of the second lifting element and the second lifted fingerprint.

21 . The method of claim 20, which comprises applying a protecting element to the second adhesive element such that the protecting element is situated adjacent to but not contacting the second lifted fingerprint.

22. The method of any preceding claim, which further comprises identifying one or more constituents of the second lifted fingerprint.

23. The method of claim 22, which comprises interrogating the second lifted fingerprint by a mass spectrometry technique.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the mass spectrometry technique is an ionisation-based technique and is optionally a matrix associated mass spectrometric technique.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the second developing agent is suitable for use as a substrate in an ionization based mass spectrometry technique.

26. The method of claim 24 or claim 25, which comprises interrogating the second lifted fingerprint with a technique selected from MALDI-TOF-MS and SALDI-TOF-MS.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the second developing agent is suitable for use as a matrix agent in a matrix-assisted mass spectrometry technique.

28. The method of claim 24, which comprises adding a matrix agent to the second lifted fingerprint prior to interrogation, wherein optionally said matrix agent is selected from a silica particle, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) and a-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA).

29. The method of any of claims 13 to 28, wherein the second developing agent is selected from a hydrophobic silica particle and aluminium powder, wherein optionally the hydrophobic silica particle comprises a metal, a metal oxide and/or carbon.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein the hydrophobic silica particle is embedded with a metal, a metal oxide and/or carbon.

31 . The method of any of claims 24 to 30, wherein the constituents of the fingerprint adhere to the second developing agent such that ionisation of the constituents occurs when the second lifted print is interrogated by the ionisation based mass spectrometric technique.

32. The method of any of claims 22 to 31 , wherein the constituents comprise (1 ) endogenous residues e.g. cholesterol, squalene and fatty acids (2) contact residues e.g. residues from a narcotic e.g. cocaine and/or residues from ballistics, and (3) exogenous metabolites e.g. nicotine metabolites.

33. A method according to claim 32, wherein at least one endogenous residue and at least one contact residue are co-deposited within the fingerprint.

34. A method for determining at least one property of a latent fingerprint deposited on a substrate, comprising:

(a) applying a first developing agent to the latent fingerprint;

(b) applying a second developing agent to the latent fingerprint; and

(c) contacting the combination of the latent fingerprint, the first developing agent and the second developing agent with a first lifting element to form a lifted fingerprint.

35. The method of claim 34, further comprising interrogating the lifted fingerprint with a mass spectrometric technique, wherein optionally the mass spectrometry technique is an ionisation-based technique and is further optionally a matrix associated mass spectrometric technique e.g. MALDI-TOF-MS and SALDI-TOF-MS..

36. The method of claim 34 or claim 35, wherein the second developing agent is suitable for use as a substrate in an ionization-based mass spectrometry technique.

37. The method of claim 36, wherein the second developing agent is suitable for use as a matrix agent in a matrix-assisted mass spectrometry technique.

38. The method of claim 37, wherein the second developing agent is capable of binding to one or more constituents in the latent fingerprint.

39. The method of any of claims 34 to 38, wherein the second developing agent is a silica particle, wherein optionally the silica particle is hydrophobic.

40. The method of any of claims 34 to 39, wherein the lifting element is selected from a tape, a magnetisable particle and a gel

41. The method of any of claims 34 to 40, wherein the first developing agent is selected from an aluminium powder, a bi-chromatic powder and a silica particle.

42. The method of any of claims 34 to 41 , further comprising covering the surface of the lifting element and the lifted fingerprint.

43. The method of claim 42, which comprises applying a protecting element to the lifting element such that the protecting element is situated adjacent to but not contacting the lifted fingerprint.

44. The method of any of claims 34 to 43, which further comprises identifying one or more constituents of the lifted fingerprint.

45. The method of any of claims 35 to 44 which comprises adding a matrix agent to the lifted fingerprint prior to interrogation, wherein optionally said matrix agent is selected from a silica particle, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) and α-cyano^-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA).

46. The method of any of claims 44 to 46, wherein the constituents of the fingerprint adhere to the second developing agent such that ionisation of the constituents occurs when the second lifted print is interrogated by the ionisation based mass spectrometric technique.

47. The method of any of claims 44 to 46, wherein the constituents comprise (1 ) endogenous residues e.g. cholesterol, squalene and fatty acids (2) contact residues e.g. residues from a narcotic e.g. cocaine and/or residues from ballistics, and (3) exogenous metabolites e.g. nicotine metabolites.

48. A kit for determining at least one property of a latent fingerprint deposited on a substrate, comprising:

(a) a first lifting element which comprises an adhesive surface and which is capable of lifting a portion but not all the latent fingerprint;

(b) a second lifting element which comprises an adhesive surface and which is capable of lifting substantially all the latent fingerprint; and (c) a fingerprint developing agent.

49. The kit of claim 48, wherein the first lifting element has a lower adhesive strength than the second lifting element.

50. The kit of claim 48 or claim 49, wherein the first lifting element is an adhesive tape.

51 . The kit of any of claims 48 to 50, wherein the second lifting element is an adhesive tape.

52. The kit of any of claims 48 to 51 , wherein the fingerprint developing agent is suitable for use as a substrate in an ionization-based mass spectrometry technique.

53. The kit of any of claims 48 to 52, wherein the fingerprint developing agent is a powder comprising silica particles, wherein optionally the silica particles are hydrophobic.

54. The kit of claim 53, wherein the silica particles each comprise a dye or coloured particle.

55. The kit of claim 53 or claim 54, wherein the silica particles are magnetic.

56. The kit of any of claims 48 to 55, which further comprises an apparatus for applying the fingerprint developing agent to a substrate upon which a latent fingerprint may be present.

57. The kit of claim 56, wherein the apparatus is selected from a brush and a wand, wherein optionally the apparatus is magnetic.

58. The kit of any of claims 48 to 57, which further comprises a protecting element for covering a lifted fingerprint situated on the adhesive surface of the first and/or second lifting element.

59. The kit of claim 58, wherein the protecting element comprises a rigid top panel, wherein optionally the top panel is formed from plastic.

60. The kit of claim 58 or claim 59, wherein the protecting element comprises a wall portion which forms a closed perimeter when contacting the lifting element.

61 . The kit of any of claims 48 to 60, which further comprises a plurality of protecting elements, wherein optionally at least two protecting elements are different dimensions.

62. A protecting element for covering a lifted fingerprint situated on a surface of a fingerprint lifting element comprising a rigid top panel and a continuous wall portion which forms a closed perimeter around the lifted fingerprint when in contact with the surface of the fingerprint lifting element.

63. The protecting element of claim 61 , which further comprises at least one adhesive tab attached to the wall portion for securing the protecting element to the fingerprint lifting element.