Welcome to the University of Leicester where forensic experts have been able to use a marker pen that works by quickly determining if a receipt, made from thermal paper, contains fingerprints. The marker pen works in collaboration with another device that is used to reveal the existence of fingerprints. The duo has been created by Dr. John Bond from the University’s Department of Criminology.
The marker by Dr. Bond comes with a solution of glycerol emulsion, butylene glycol and water that basically reacts with the paper. In essence, it reacts with the dye contained within the paper and changes its color to indicate thermal paper used to print receipts at gas stations, ATMs and supermarkets.
In the words of Dr. Bond, “The idea is that a small corner of the receipt could be marked with the pen. Touching a small corner of the receipt will minimize the potential destruction of any fingerprints on the paper, helping to retain forensic evidence.”
Investigators can move on to the phase of checking paper for fingerprints if it doesn’t turn black, which is to say that it is non-thermal. If it does respond to the marker then the second device is used to illuminate the paper with UV-A wavelength filtered light. This light reveals if any fingerprints are available and thus, the thermal paper is saved for detailed analysis later. This would result in crucial time saving and helping the investigation to progress seamlessly without any hurdle.
Currently, the University of Leicester is searching for a licensing partner to start the manufacturing and selling of this new marker. Considering that Dr. Bond is a known name when it comes to fingerprints, we don’t really see any reason why this marker won’t be a success.