Bioscience

New imaging technology brings trace chemicals into focus

April 9, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Forensic Magazine] – Arizona State University scientist N.J. Tao and his colleagues at the Biodesign Institute have hit on a new, versatile method to significantly improve the detection of trace chemicals important in such areas as national security, human health and the environment.

Tao’s team was able to detect and identify tiny particles of the explosive trinitrotoluene or TNT—each weighing less than a billionth of a gram—on the ridges and canals of a fingerprint. “We can easily detect the TNT traces because we combine the strength of optical microscopy, which gives spatial resolution, with the high sensitivity and selectivity of electrochemical detection,” he said.

For more information: New Imaging Technology Brings Trace Chemicals into Focus