Since new techniques incorporated into forensic science must be compatible with current practices, the current study examined cyanoacrylate fuming, a common development technique for latent fingerprints, for its compatibility with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) for chemical imaging of latent fingerprints.
Half of a fingerprint was fumed while the other half was not; then, the changes in chemical composition and signal intensity were compared with MALDI-MS imaging. No evidence was found that fingerprint compounds are chemically altered by fuming or their signal intensities affected. The only exceptions were significant signal loss for quaternary ammonium compounds from hygiene products and moderate signal loss for tertiary amine compounds. This result is in striking contrast with the previous attempts by others, which is attributed to the difference in instrumentation. (publisher abstract modified)