An investigation into the enhancement of fingermarks in blood on paper with genipin and lawsone

Paula Thomas, Kevin J. Farrugia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)
383 Downloads (Pure)


The abilities of two natural products, genipin and lawsone, to enhance blood contaminated fingermarks on papers of various porosities and colour were investigated and compared to the routinely used amino acid reagents, ninhydrin and 1,8-diazafluoren-9-one (DFO).

Fingermarks in blood were deposited as a split depletion series on various paper types and colours for ageing periods of 6 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 weeks and 1 week before enhancement. The developed marks were observed under different lighting conditions, recorded and graded by way of attributing quantitative data to each series.

Results indicated that while genipin showed some potential as a reagent for the enhancement of latent fingermarks, it displayed no suitability for the enhancement of fingermarks in blood on paper. Lawsone also failed to successfully enhance either type of fingermark. Upon comparison of the results with those of ninhydrin and DFO it was found that ninhydrin displayed the highest success rate of development of these marks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalScience & Justice
Issue number3
Early online date17 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


Cite this