Optimisation and evaluation of 1,2-indanedione for use as a fingermark reagent and its application to real samples

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2007, 168 (1), pp. 14 - 26
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1,2-Indanedione is an emerging fingermark reagent used on porous surfaces. The general consensus is that this reagent is at least as sensitive as DFO, with some research showing higher sensitivity for 1,2-indanedione as opposed to DFO. However, a number of discrepancies existed in the literature as to which formulation and which development procedure produces optimal results. This project set out to investigate the best formulation and development procedure under Australian conditions, encompassing all published recommendations as well as some novel approaches. 1,2-Indanedione formulations were compared with respect to initial colour, fluorescence, concentration of reagent, acetic acid concentration, and the effect of different carrier solvents. Numerous development conditions were investigated, including a conventional oven, a heat press and humidity. Further enhancement using metal salt treatment and liquid nitrogen was also evaluated. The heat press set at 165 °C for 10 s proved to give the best initial colour and most intense luminescence. Secondary metal salt treatment improved initial colour and luminescence. The Polilight, the VSC 2000, and the Condor Chemical Imaging macroscope have been used to detect the fingerprints developed with 1,2-indanedione on a variety of high- and low-quality porous and semi-porous surfaces, with impressive results overall. Laboratory and field tests were conducted to compare 1,2-indanedione with DFO and ninhydrin as well as to investigate the position of 1,2-indanedione in the sequence of reagents for fingermark detection on porous surfaces. Overall, 1,2-indanedione proved to be a viable alternative to traditional methods for the detection of fingermarks on porous surfaces, with more fingermarks being developed using this reagent on real samples than both DFO and ninhydrin and a combination of the two reagents. © 2006.
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