Improving the visualization of fingermarks using multi-target immunolabeling

A. van Dam, K. Falkena, S.A. den Daas, I. Veldhuizen, M.C.G. Aalders

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The development of fingermarks is an important step in visualizing ridge patterns for individualization purposes. Immunolabeling can be applied to fingermarks to selectively and sensitively detect antigens in fingermarks, and can be used as a developing method to visualize fingermarks. In this study we investigated single (the detection of one antigen) and multiple targeting approaches (the detection of multiple antigens simultaneously) to improve fingermark development. The detection of dermcidin, an antimicrobial peptide, was used as the gold standard to compare single and multi-target detection of keratins, albumin and/or dermcidin. Single detection of dermcidin and albumin mostly resulted in clear ridge details and/or pore detection, whereas the single keratin detection resulted in a poor visualization of the fingermarks. The multi-target approach in which both dermcidin and albumin were targeted, resulted in improved fingermark development compared to single dermcidin detection. Therefore, we recommend the use of multi-target detection consisting of anti-dermcidin and anti-albumin when using immunolabeling as fingermark development technique. Additionally, the optimized multi-target approach was tested as a pre- and post-development technique in combination with powder dusting and cyanoacrylate fuming. Immunolabeling has not been implemented yet in forensic case work, however we expect that immunolabeling can be used to redevelop poorly developed and/or smudged fingermarks in the nearby future. Currently, an ongoing pilot-study is being conducted in collaboration with the Dutch police.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110804
Number of pages9
JournalForensic science international
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Fingermark development
  • Forensics
  • Immunogenic techniques
  • Immunolabeling
  • Multi-target

Cite this