Synthesis and application of an aqueous nile red microemulsion for the development of fingermarks on porous surfaces

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Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2014, 244 pp. e48 - e55
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© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. An oil-in-water microemulsion containing a luminescent dye, nile red, has been synthesised using a solvent-diffusion method. This has been demonstrated to be effective in developing fresh latent fingermarks on porous surfaces. The working solution is made using a binary surfactant solution to create a lactescent dual organic-aqueous phase intermediate, which subsequently results in a transparent microemulsion after the organic solvent has evaporated. The solution is non-toxic and performs comparatively with a previously published methanolic formulation but at a much lower cost and with an extended shelf life. The microemulsion outperforms a previously reported aqueous nile blue formulation for the development of both charged and natural fresh fingermarks, and requires lower exposure times for image recording.
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