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    Fingerprint Dusting Composition

    Technology Description

    This is a new technique to develop finger prints from older data samples. Dr. Sodhi’s choice in compound materials reflects the ability of materials in his laboratory. Dr. Sodhi is conducting research based upon three components – nanoparticles of alumina, fluorescent dye, and hydrophobic extract of gawar bean seeds. He has been successful in multiple flat surfaces, but wants to improve the degree of adhesion with other surfaces, including CDs and adhesive surfaces.

    The compound is a nanoparticle size composition. The nanoparticles are coated with a fluorescent dye, so that weak, chance fingerprints are enhanced under a suitable light source. The nanoparticles are also coated with water-repelling substances, so that fingerprints may be developed on moist surfaces. The compound is used to detect fingerprints on a wide spectrum of surfaces, absorbent and non-absorbent; white and multicolored; and smooth and rough.

    Under current technologies, cadmium sulfide (used for illumination and color) is an extremely toxic substance and would pose occupational hazard to the user. Dr. Sodhi has used only non-toxic ingredients in our composition. The hydrophobic substances have been extracted from a particular variety of bean seeds that are consumed as vegetables. The fluorescent dye has been approved by FDA for use in lipsticks and nail polishes. The approval process for this compound should not be difficult, as it is not being applied to the skin.

    The conventional technologies served the purpose in cold countries. However, in India, where the temperature is more than 30 degrees Celsius for almost eight months in a year, the sweat content of the fingerprint residue evaporates at a fast pace, making it difficult to process fingerprints. Without sweat, the police rarely find fingerprints.

    The nanoparticle-based composition has the ability to actively seek out even the meager amount of oily components from the sweat residue. It therefore provides a sharper and clearer picture of finger marks. Being fluorescent, it enhances weak fingerprints. Being water-repellent, it detects fingerprints on moist surfaces.

    In his testing, Dr. Sodhi has worked with the composition in powder form and with the compound suspended in a detergent. The second combination works well with sticky sites, such as tape. With this technique, Dr. Sodhi has been able to raise fingerprints from older samples. Older samples are defined as samples left exposed to the elements for over 48 hours.

    Lou Hupp of Ideal Laboratories felt the market for print removal under arid conditions was worth pursuing. He also stated an interest in helping with the testing of the process.

    The technology is a new process, one of many available for raising fingerprints. Dr. Sodhi will compete on the market with multiple technologies in this arena. Other laboratories are experimenting with gold and other compounds and finding varied results. The challenge for all groups is the raising of prints in a lab setting v. real life setting. Further competition will come from technologies used to raise DNA from prints, which is not an aspect of Dr. Sodhi’s technology.

    When completed, these technologies leave a raised print ready for removal. Generally, police use a powder and clear tape to remove the print and begin the evaluation process. If the powder is applied prematurely, the print is wiped away. This is true for Dr. Sodhi as well as other technologies in this market.

    This invention was chosen for silver medal award under the IDEAZ category of Anveshan IV: National Search for Innovation, IIM, Ahmedabad.

    Potential Benefits of The Technology

    Prints over 48 hours old are hard to retrieve. Sweaty or greasy palms leave easy to recover prints. If a person is not sweating, they may not leave a print, even on a pristine surface. Currently prints over 48 hours old in a controlled environment will continue to be easy to recover. In more arid conditions, the print will dry and the fingerprint will be harder to retrieve. Remnants of the print can be recovered in a longer period of time. Depending on the criticality of the recovery superglue can be added to the environment to facilitate this recovery. ……………..

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