• Nemanja Vučković University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Nevena Prlainović University of Belgrade, Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy
  • Nikola Milašinović University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia


Chitosan, Itaconic Acid, Fluorescein, Sodium-tripolyphosphate, Fingerprints, Forensics



The application of fluorescent powders is of great significance for development of latent fingerprints on some unconventional substrates, such as firearms, skin, multicolored surfaces, etc. Therefore, researchers are constantly improving these formulations in order to increase their sensitivity and obtain adequate contrast.


This paper deals with chitosan-based powder systems conjugated with fluorescein (FL) and crosslinked with sodium-tripolyphosphate (Na-TPP), obtained by simple ionotropic gelation process. Prepared powders were used to visualize latent fingerprints deposited onto non-porous (glass), semi-porous (varnish paper) and porous (wood) surfaces, with the aim to enhance the quality of developed fingerprints by fluorescence assisted by ultraviolet (UV) light. The effect of time on oxidation of fluorescein in the conjugates used to develop traces was also investigated in order to determine whether the color change appears, as well as whether it affects the quality of the visualized fingerprints over time.


Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analyses confirmed interactions between components of the system and the formation of conjugates. Optical microscopy indicated that prepared powders show uniformity in shape and size, supporting binding to the sweat and lipid fingerprint residues.


Prepared powder showed good fluorescence under UV light and satisfying development of latent fingerprints deposited onto different substrates. The results indicated that prepared bio-based powder system could complement some of the routinely used (fluorescent) systems, particularly due to relatively low price and non-toxic (eco-friendly) properties.

Author Biographies

Nemanja Vučković, University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia

MSc; Teaching Assistant the Department of Forensic Engineering, at the University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia

Nevena Prlainović, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy

PhD; Assistant Professor at the Department of Organic Chemistry, at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Nikola Milašinović, University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia

PhD; Full Professor at the Department of Forensic Engineering, at the University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia


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Natural and Applied Sciences in Forensics, Cybercrime and Security