Development of enhancement reagents

Latent fingerprints can (per definition) not be observed with the naked eye. Some kind of treatment by physical or chemical developers is needed to see and capture the finger depositions.

In this project we research new possibilities for the visualisation of latent fingerprints. Challenges here are lowering the impact at other forensic traces, such as DNA, toxicology and explosives.

Age estimation

Although the evidential value of a fingerprint is incredibly high, if the print was placed before a crime was commited, the evidential relevance is limited. The use of chemical analytical methods for the estimation of the age of a fingerprint is the aim in this project.

The results obtained in previous projects on the age estimation of fingerprints has evolved in a broader project on the age estimation of forensic traces in general.

Fingermarks @ activity level

Finding a latent fingermark is one thing, understanding how the mark got there is another. The focus in this project is on the  manner of touch and order of events that resulted in the fingermarks and other traces found on the pieces of evidence.


We are always looking for bright and enthusiastic students (BSc and MSc level) for a wide variety of projects. Please go to the contact page and leave your details and interests. Please contact me via the contact page for more information.

Chemical analysis

The composition of a latent fingermark if of crucial importance to the visualisation process. We define poor donors and good donors, merely by how well we think their latent prints develop. A thorough understanding of what actually is visualised is crucial for the development of novel reagents.

Secondly, we are looking at metabolites from the human system that provides us with information of the donor of the fingerprint.

In this project we develop new methodology for the chemical analysis of (latent) fingerprints in conjunction with enhancement reagents.

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