Fingerprint technology developed by Sheffield ambassador could soon be used in court

Fingerprint technology developed by Sheffield ambassador could soon be used in court

18 December 2017

Powerful new fingerprint technology designed by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University could soon be admissible in court.

The technique, which has been developed by project lead Dr Simona Francese and her team, detects traces of various substances within a fingerprint.

This ground-breaking research received national attention earlier this year when Simona – an ambassador and reader in Mass Spectrometry at Sheffield Hallam University – featured on BBC Breakfast, Radio 4’s Today Programme and Radio 5 Live, as well as on BBC News online and in several national newspapers.

The tests can find traces of drugs, blood, hair, food, cleaning products, condom lubricants and other substances of forensic interest that will provide crime investigators with crucial background information about a criminal's activities prior to committing a crime.

The technology, known as Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Profiling (MALDI-MSI and MALDI-MSP), has been trialled with West Yorkshire Police thanks to funding from the Home Office’s Innovation Fund.

“This is an exciting development that demonstrates the efficiency of MALDI-based techniques to be used to provide additional intelligence to the police and forensic investigators,” said Simona.

“This is yet another step closer to our aim of getting this technology integrated into standard forensic procedures at scenes of crime across the country.”

If, like Simona, you are working on ground-breaking research in Sheffield and would like to bring conferences or events to the city, why not become a Sheffield Conference Ambassador?

For full details, contact Gemma Tissington on 0114 273 5978 or Gemma.Tissington@sheffield.gov.uk.