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Development of fingermarks on Latex gloves: The solution to a challenging surface
- Arbeli, Tomer, Liptz, Yakir, Bengiat, Ravell, Levin-Elad, Michal
- Forensic science international 2017 v.280 pp. 147-152
- DNA, amino acids, coatings, crime, dyeing, gentian violet, gloves, latex, manufacturing, people, petroleum, proteins, scanning electron microscopy, solvents
- Used Latex gloves found at crime scenes can provide strong evidence against a suspect as they almost certainly contain both the fingermarks and DNA of the perpetrator who had worn them. However, over the years, Latex gloves have proved to be a rather difficult substrate for fingermarks development, with most of the standard techniques producing poor results. In this study, the two main protocols for development on either porous or non-porous surfaces: Ninhydrin-HFE and superglue fuming followed by crystal violet (CV) dyeing, respectively, had been examined on 100 disposable Latex gloves from twenty five donors. The results distinctly showed a high superiority of Ninhydrin-HFE over the superglue fuming indicating the porous rather than the non-porous properties of the interior of the gloves. Yet, not all the usual ninhydrin development formulations yielded the desirable results, leading to the conclusion that the success of development rests on the solvent-sensitive structure of the gloves. As natural latex contains contaminant proteins, that were found to cause allergic reactions in different people, the manufacturing of disposable gloves had been altered over the years to prevent contact with these proteins by adding an intrinsic polymer-coating. Thus, it was essential to use an inert solvent system that should keep the interior polymer-coating intact, allowing a reaction only with the amino acids on the surface rather than the latex proteins in the glove. The SEM analyses showed that HFE-7100 as opposed to petroleum ether, does not harm the inner coating, hence, providing the ideal solution to this challenging surface.