Review Article

A Splendid Blend of Nanotechnology and Forensic Science

[+] Author and Article Information
Dhritiman Chakraborty

St. Stephen's College, New Delhi,
Delhi 110007, India
e-mail: dhritimanccv@gmail.com

Gopika Rajan

Amity Institute of Nanotechnology,
Amity University,
Noida 201 303, India
e-mail: gopeekarajan@gmail.com

Rimal Isaac

Assistant Professor
Department of Nanotechnology,
School of Interdisciplinary Courses,
Noorul Islam Centre for Higher Education (NICHE),
Kumaracoil, Kanyakumari District, Thuckalay,
Tamil Nadu 629180, India
e-mail: rimal.xyz@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 9, 2014; final manuscript received April 21, 2015; published online June 16, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Feng Xu.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 6(1), 010801 (Feb 01, 2015) (6 pages) Paper No: NANO-14-1069; doi: 10.1115/1.4030421 History: Received November 09, 2014; Revised April 21, 2015; Online June 16, 2015

Nanotechnology, which is being employed in all areas of technology, also finds application in the sector of forensics. It is evident that utilization of this technology will help the criminologists to solve the criminal mystery with greater accuracy and pace. Fingerprinting technology, deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) analysis, forensic material testing, etc., are some technical zones that are being invaded by nanoscience. This is a brief review about the applications of nanotechnology in forensics. It also provides insight to the future prospects of this amalgamation of technologies, leading to better scientific analysis of evidence suitable for legal proceedings.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Hazarika, P., and Russell, D., 2012, “Fingerprints Tell All Thanks to Gold Nanoparticles,” Angew. Chem., 51(15), pp. 3524–3531. [CrossRef]
Sametband, M., Shweky, I., Banin, U., Mandler, D., and Almog, J., 2007, “Application of Nanoparticles for the Enhancement of Latent Fingerprints,” Chem. Commun., pp. 1142–1144. [CrossRef]
Menzel, E. R., Savoy, S. M., Ulvick, S. J., Cheng, K. H., Murdock, R. H., and Sudduth, M. R., 2000, “Photoluminescent Semiconductor Nanocrystals for Fingerprint Detection,” J. Forensic Sci., 45(3), pp. 545–551. [PubMed]
“Forensic Science Publications,” Center for Forensic Studies, Texas Tech University, Last accessed Mar. 22, 2015, http://www.phys.ttu.edu/∼menzel/fscipub.html
Choi, M. J., McDonagh, A. M., Maynard, P., and Roux, C., 2008, “Metal-Containing Nanoparticles and Nano-Structured Particles in Fingermark Detection,” Forensic Sci. Int., 179(2–3), pp. 87–97. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lee, H. C., and Gaensslen, R. E., 2001, Advances in Fingerprint Technology, 2nd ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Choi, M. J., McDonagh, A. M., Maynard, P. J., Wuhrer, R., Lennard, C., and Roux, C., 2006, “Preparation and Evaluation of Metal Nanopowders for the Detection of Fingermarks on Non-Porous Surfaces,” J. Forensic Identif., 56(5), pp. 756–768. [CrossRef]
Sodhi, G. S., and Kaur, J., 2001, “Powder Method for Detecting Latent Fingerprints: A Review,” Forensic Sci. Int., 120(3), pp. 172–176. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Cantu, A., 1996, Notes on Some Latent Fingerprint Visualization Techniques Developed by Dr. George Sanders, U.S. Secret Service, Forensic Service Division, Washington, DC.
Haque, F. W., Westland, A. D., Milligan, J., and Kerr, F. M., 1989, “A Small Particle (Iron Oxide) Suspension for Detection of Latent Fingerprints on Smooth Surfaces,” Forensic Sci. Int., 41(1–2), pp. 73–82. [CrossRef]
Forensic Science Service, 1998, Manual of Fingerprint Development Techniques—A Guide to the Selection and Use of Processes for the Development of Latent Fingerprints, Home Office, Police Scientific Development Branch, Sandridge, UK.
Zamir, A., Oz, C., Leifer, A., and Geller, B., 2002, “The Effect of Small Particle Reagent Employed as a Fingerprint Enhancement Technique on Subsequent STR Typing From Bloodstains,” J. Forensic Identif., 52(6), pp. 691–695. [CrossRef]
Saiyed, Z. M., Ramchand, C. N., and Telang, S. D., 2008, “Isolation of Genomic DNA Using Magnetic Nanoparticles as a Solid-Phase Support,” J. Phys.: Condens. Matter, 20(20), p. 204153. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Foquet, M., Korlach, J., Zipfel, W., Webb, W. W., and Craighead, H. G., 2002, “DNA Fragment Sizing by Single Molecule Detection in Submicrometer-Sized Closed Fluidic Channels,” Anal. Chem., 74(6), pp. 1415–1422. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Taylor, T. B., Winn-Deen, E. S., Picozza, E., Woudenberg, T. M., and Albin, M., 1997, “Optimization of the Performance of the Polymerase Chain Reaction in Silicon-Based Microstructures,” Nucleic Acids Res., 25(15), pp. 3164–3168. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Farrukh, M. A., 2011, “Nano-Forensics: Application of Nanotechnology in Forensic Science,” Invited Lecture at Chemistry Week of Dunnicliff Chemical Society, GC University Lahore, Pakistan.
Klajn, R., Bishop, K. J. M., Wesson, P. J., and Grzybowski, B. A., 2009, “Writing Self-Erasing Images Using Metastable Nanoparticle ‘Inks',” Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 48(38), pp. 7035–7039. [CrossRef]
Hussain, I., Hussain, S. Z., Habib-Ur-Rehman, Ihsan, A., Rehman, A., Khalid, Z. M., Brust, M., and Cooper, A. I., 2010, “In Situ Growth of Gold Nanoparticles on Latent Fingerprints—From Forensic Applications to Inkjet Printed Nanoparticle Patterns,” Nanoscale, 2(12), pp. 2575–2578. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
“Literature Sheets—Nanomaterials,” Strem Chemicals, Inc., Newburyport, MA, www.strem.com/resource/5/.../strem_nanomaterials_for_defense_security
Reynolds, J. G., and Hart, B. R., 2004, “Nanomaterials and Their Application to Defense and Homeland Security,” JOM, 56(1), pp. 36–39. [CrossRef]
Cantu, A. A., 2008, “Nanoparticles in Forensic Science,” Proc. SPIE7119, p. 71190F. [CrossRef]
Nemmar, A., Hoet, P. H. M., Vanquickenborne, B., Dinsdale, D., Thomeer, M., Hoylaerts, M. F., Vanbilloen, H., Mortelmans, L., and Nemery, B., 2002, “Passage of Inhaled Particles Into the Blood Circulation in Humans,” Circulation, pp. 411–414. [CrossRef]
Kreyling, W. G., Tuch, T., Peters, A., Pitz, M., Heinrich, J., Stolzel, M., Cyrys, J., Heyder, J., and Wichmann, H. E., 2000, “Diverging Long-Term Trends in Ambient Urban Particle Mass and Number Concentrations Associated With Emission Changes Caused by the German Unification,” Atmos. Environ., 37(27), pp. 3841–3848. [CrossRef]
Oberdörster, G., Sharp, Z., Atudorei, V., Elder, A., Gelein, R., Lunts, A., Kreyling, W., and Cox, C., 2002, “Extrapulmonary Translocation of Ultrafine Carbon Particles Following Whole-Body Inhalation Exposure of Rats,” J. Toxicol. Environ. Health, Part A, 65(20), pp. 1531–1543. [CrossRef]
Oberdörster, G., Oberdörster, O. E., and Oberdörster, J., 2005, “Nanotoxicology: An Emerging Discipline Evolving From Studies of Ultrafine Particles,” Environ. Health Perspect., 113(7), pp. 823–839. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kang, S. J., Kim, B. M., Lee, Y. J., and Chung, H. W., 2008, “Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Trigger p53-Mediated Damage Response in Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes,” Environ. Mol. Mutagen., 49(5), pp. 399–405. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Shukla, R. K., Kumar, A., Pandey, A. K., Singh, S. S., and Dhawan, A., 2011, “Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Induce Oxidative Stress-Mediated Apoptosis in Human Keratinocyte Cells,” J. Biomed. Nanotechnol., 7(1), pp. 100–101. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Shukla, R. K., Sharma, V., Pandey, A. K., Singh, S., Sultana, S., and Dhawan, A., 2011, “ROS-Mediated Genotoxicity Induced by Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles in Human Epidermal Cells,” Toxicol. in Vitro, 25(1), pp. 231–241. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Chung, D. T., Drabek, J., Opel, K. L., Butler, J. M., and McCord, B. R., 2004, “A Study on the Effects of Degradation and Template Concentration on the Amplification Efficiency of the STR Miniplex Primer Sets,” J. Forensic Sci., 49(4), pp. 733–740. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Sharma, V., Singh, S., Anderson, D., Tobin, D., and Dhawan, A., 2011, “Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle Induced Genotoxicity in Primary Human Epidermal Keratinocytes,” J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol., 11(5), pp. 3782–3788. [CrossRef] [PubMed]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Overview of the potential applications of nanotechnology in forensic science

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Latent fingerprint enhancement using gold nanoparticles [1]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Latent fingerprint enhancement using cadmium sulfide (CdS) nanoparticles [4]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

An integrated DNA biochip, under development by James Landers at the University of Virginia, with the potential to perform various forensic analyses on a single chip [16]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Overview of the applications of nanotechnology in security

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

In situ growth of gold nanoparticles on latent fingerprints—from forensic applications to inkjet printed nanoparticle patterns [18]



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In