Don’t we all just love what we see in crime drama serials where the forensic expert comes and dusts off the fingerprints to start with the investigation? Dusting off the fingerprints will in sometime go out of fashion. Ask me how and I’ll tell you. The crime scene investigations will get a new sense of life with glowing fingerprints, yes you read it right.
Researchers from China’s Zhejiang University in Hangzhou have come out with a technique to make fingerprints glow. These fingerprints needn’t be old or new to glow. Such a glow of the fingerprints will list down the prints in detail without having to destroy them from the crime scene essentially. The method will use electro-chemiluminescence. It’s a phenomenon that causes a chemical solution to light up and glow in layman’s terms when bought in contact with an electric charge.
Now you must know that the fingerprints are to be pressed onto an electrode which exists in two forms- a stainless steel sheet or an indium tin oxide glass. To this a specialised chemical solution is added which is repelled by substances like oil, dirt and other particles per se. When an electric charge is passed on to the electrode, the solution will lighten up and it can then be imaged using a CCd camera sensor. The opposite happens when a different chemical solution is used that sticks to the fingerprints and glows instead of the area in between. It is substantiated by Linru Xu, the lead author on the research paper, which was published in Angewandte Chemie who told Discovery News, “We can either make the substrate glow or the fingerprint glow.”
If such a thing is used in real life, it would be a great development in catching criminals and for testifying. It is also being said that these glowing fingerprints could tell whether the owner had been using drugs or not. Once you are into drugs, they secrete something that comes out of the pores of the hand and are traceable by these prints. Let’s see how well it works and whether it will actually help in real life circumstances.