Development of a GC-MS method for the simultaneous analysis of latent fingerprint components

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


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 (Mylar®) 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 Mylar® 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1333
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number6
Early online date31 Oct 2006
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


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