This thesis encompasses work done to aid in the incorporation of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization - mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) into the forensic workflow.
MALDI-MSI is a valuable technique in that chemical information, in addition to the location of the compounds, can be obtained. In the first chapter, an introduction to the technique and its applications and benefits for the field of forensics are presented. The following chapter details a set of experiments comparing MALDI-MSI with porous surface fingerprint development techniques, specifically ninhydrin and iodine-fuming. It was determined that MALDI-MSI is compatible with both techniques and able to reveal chemical information from a fingerprint. The MS image quality was also compared, and iodine-fumed fingerprints showed analogous images to the non-developed fingerprint, while ninhydrin-developed fingerprints seldom did. With iodine-fumed fingerprints maintaining ridge detail, further information can be determined, such as the deconvolution of the fingerprint and the surface surrounding the fingerprint. The final chapter concludes with an outlook on future directions of research related to this work. (Published abstract provided)
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