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High-throughput DNA Sequencing of Environmentally Insulted Latent and Partial Bloody Fingerprints After Visualization with the Nanoscale Columnar-Thin-Film Technique

NCJ Number
Pennsylvania State University
Date Published
21 pages

This is the Final Summary Overview of a project that conducted high-throughput DNA sequencing of environmentally insulted latent and partial bloody fingerprints after visualization with the nanoscale columnar-thin-film technique.



Fingerprints from both the victim and person-of-interest are often left on various substrates. These prints may be exposed to various elements before collection and can be degraded prior to analysis due to environmental influences, resulting in the destruction of the fingerprints as well as DNA in nucleated cells embedded in fingerprints. Conformal deposition of a nanoscale columnar thin film (CTF) on latent and partial bloody fingerprints on several types of forensically relevant substrates is an effective visualization method for identifying individuals. Short tandem repeat (STR) profiles are routinely generated from body fluids. Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technology that uses single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can help identify DNA profiles from fingerprints. The current project demonstrated that CTF deposition showed no inhibition after CTF treatment of latent prints and MPS of single nucleotide SNP from DNA obtained from the same fingerprints. The project also determined that fingerprints can be visualized using CTF and then extracted for SNP analysis. In addition, STR and SNP analysis performed on partial bloody fingerprints was accomplished. The value of both CTF and SNP technologies in obtaining more information when the DNA is of poor quality and is present in these types of evidence in less than optimal quantity was confirmed in this research. The amount of DNA obtained from each fingerprint varied; however, it was possible to obtain STR from partial bloody prints and SNP profiles from both CTF-developed and undeveloped fingerprints. 5 figures

Date Published: January 1, 2022