Evaluation of the fingermark reagent oil red O as a possible replacement for physical developer

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Forensic Identification, 2008, 58 (2), pp. 203 - 237
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This study further evaluates a relatively new fingermark reagent, Oil Red O (ORO), for its potential to be used as a replacement for, or in sequence with, physical developer (PD). A preliminary evaluation of the existing ORO reagent on a number of different porous substrates produced fingermarks with excellent ridge detail and contrast. Attempts were made to reformulate the ORO reagent to improve its application. During these trials, sodium hydroxide was found to be an essential component of the reagent. None of the reformulated ORO reagents developed fingermarks as well as the existing ORO formulation. A comparison of fingermarks developed with ORO and PD on a variety of different porous surfaces indicated that ORO performance appeared to be compromised to a greater extent than PD by the age of the fingermark and the immersion time in water. ORO produced inferior results to PD on fingermarks older than approximately 4 weeks. ORO produced good-quality fingermarks when placed in sequence with PD and HFE-7100/HFC-4310mee formulations of DFO, ninhydrin (followed by secondary metal salt treatment with zinc), and 1,2-indandione-zinc. Selectivity studies revealed that ORO interacts with a wide variety of both water-soluble and water-insoluble compounds that may be present in latent fingermark deposits.
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