Date of Award
Chemistry and Biochemistry
When someone thinks of fingerprinting, they are most likely going to picture how a latent print is matched to the fingerprint of a suspect based on ridge pattern analysis. However, there is much more information that can be obtained from a latent print. The work performed in this thesis focuses the detection of exogenous and endogenous drugs in latent prints. The experiments performed analyzed fingerprints from volunteers that were contaminated with one of three common painkillers: acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and ibuprofen. Three different instruments were tested for this purpose: MALDI-MS, ATR-FTIR, and LC-MS. Based on the results gathered, it was determined that both MALDI-MS and LC-MS can accurately detect exogenous drug particles in latent prints. A quantitation study was also carried out using LC-MS which gave the following results: 1.224, 2.632, and 2.201 mg/mL of acetaminophen, 38.886, 35.579, and 40.534 mg/mL of ASA, and 136.054, 13.667, and 150.246 mg/mL of ibuprofen. ATR-FTIR was only able to produce two accurate results after many trials and thus it was concluded that this is not a valid instrument for this application. Based on current scientific technology and gaps in literature, it was determined that two instruments that should be investigated for the purpose of detecting endogenous drug particles in latent fingerprints include LC-MS/MS and DART-MS. DART-MS shows potential for this application since it is nondestructive, no sample preparation is necessary, and it can detect trace amounts of analyte. LC-MS/MS was chosen because it produces more detailed mass spectra compared to traditional LC-MS.
Malloy, Kristen, "Investigation of the History of Fingerprinting, Advancements in the Field, and Development of Potential Methods that Could Improve the Detection of Endogenous And Exogenous Drugs in Latent Prints" (2020). Honors Theses. 1392.
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