Optimization of crystal violet technique for enhanced fingerprint detection on various surfaces

Gülekçi Y., Tülek A.

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, no.1, pp.1-10, 2024 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1556-4029.15534
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, Aerospace Database, Analytical Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Legal Source, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes


The crystal violet (CV) staining technique represents a prevalent approach for the development of latent fingerprints, especially on adhesive tape surfaces. Nevertheless, the technique necessitates intricate formulations to augment its performance. In this investigation, an optimized CV staining protocol was developed, characterized by the absence of residual dye on the target substrates and the capability of facilitating fingerprint visualization under ambient light conditions. Four donors, comprising two males and two females, deposited natural fingerprints on various substrates, including glass microscope slides, aluminum foil, and 115 g glossy coated paper, without any specific guidelines. Fingerprints developed using cyanoacrylate fuming served as benchmarks and were contrasted with those generated through alternative methods: CV, ardrox, rhodamine 6G, powdering, and the optimized CV staining protocol. The fingerprint development experiment was replicated at seven distinct time intervals, encompassing 1 day, 1 week, 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, resulting in a dataset of 420 fingerprints. The evaluation of fingerprint identifiability employed a scoring system established by the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology. The results indicated that the optimized CV staining technique demonstrated superior performance, boasting a 92.9% rate of identifiable fingerprint development in contrast to other employed methodologies. Consequently, this optimized CV staining approach is recommended as an efficient, rapid, and straightforward critical dyeing method, applicable to a wide array of substrates in forensic investigations.