Student invents novel forensic biometric fingerprint recovery method
A forensic science master’s student at Rutgers University — Camden in New Jersey has discovered a new formulation to recover biometric fingerprint evidence on surfaces using a specially designed white powder.
The researcher says the novel fingerprint biometric detection powder formulation is an improvement on others on the market, which are fluorescent and require an alternative light source to see the fingerprints. Kristen Smith’s powder is both fluorescent and white-based and therefore fingerprints are visible to the naked eye and may be enhanced without an external light source.
“That’s a big benefit that my powder now has over other fluorescent powders on the market,” says Smith, “I just want to do something to help people, and forensic science is an amazing way to do that.”
The formulation is inexpensive and easy to use; this summer the student will help to train the Gloucester County Crime Scene Unit in fingerprinting and intends to patent the biometric invention after completing the senior year project.
Smith aspires to work for the Camden County crime scene unit, specifically within the fingerprinting suite.
Forensic investigation by law enforcement is the original commercial application for fingerprint biometric technology, but potentially significant advances have recently been made in the space involving Kelvin probes and a blasting technique.