Investigations into Sampling Approaches for Chemical Analysis of Latent Fingermark Residue

11 April 2019, Version 3
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The quantitative variation in latent fingermark deposits sampled from the same donor (intra-donor) poses considerable challenges to studies into the chemical composition of latent fingermarks. The work presented here investigates approaches to the sampling of latent fingermark residues within this context. The amount of squalene in fingermarks deposited on non-porous surfaces, determined by GC-MS, was used as an indicator of the amount of non-polar material present. It was found that the percentage difference of squalene between deposits from two hands at a given time, without controlling the deposition pressure, was in the range of 4-100 %. This was reduced to 0-44 % in alternative sampling approaches where deposition pressure was controlled. These results demonstrate the significant influence of sampling on subsequent chemical analysis of fingermark residues, and offer possible sampling strategies to overcome issues associated with intra-donor variation.


Forensic Sciences
Fingermark composition

Supplementary materials

Sampling Fingerprints GCMS graphical abstract


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.