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Plasti dip® as a tool for lifting cellular material from coarse surfaces

Cahill, Michael John (2019) Plasti dip® as a tool for lifting cellular material from coarse surfaces. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Fingerprints have been used as a tool to identify persons of interest since the twentieth century. After the successful generation of DNA profiles from a single fingerprint, the value they possess in a criminal investigation has increased. Unfortunately, due to the destructive nature of the methods employed to obtain fingerprints, it is very difficult to preserve the fingerprint ridge patterns and collect the deposited cellular material. Furthermore, although fingerprints can be digitally captured, this technique may not possible on textured or curved surfaces. To overcome this, a variety of techniques have been developed to lift fingerprints from surfaces. Currently, three different types of fingerprints lifts exist; adhesive tape, gelatine lifts, and silicone casting. Each lift has demonstrated the successful recovery of fingerprints and DNA on a range of non-porous surfaces; however, no one type of lift has proven to be the overall superior method. To date, the recovery of cellular material from coarse surfaces, such as bricks, has remained a challenge with only silicone casting demonstrating limited success. Branded as a ‘multi-purpose rubber coating’, Plasti dip® is a peel-off rubber coating that can be applied to surfaces from an aerosol can. Preliminary research demonstrated that Plasti dip® could successfully recover similar quantities of DNA as foam swabs from blood deposited onto bricks. Further investigation also indicated that small concentrations of male Y amplicon DNA could be recovered from bricks, suggesting the Plasti dip® can be used to recover touch DNA. This review aims to discuss the ability of current fingerprints lifts to successfully recover ridge patterns and cellular material. We also discuss the potential Plasti dip® possesses as a tool for the recovery of cellular material from coarse surfaces.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Supervisor(s): Chapman, Brendan
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