ISSN: 2456-8090 (online)

DOI: 10.26440/IHRJ/0609.12553


Application of Nanotechnology for Development of Latent Lip Prints: A Review




Cite this article as: Saini A, Dixit C, Dixit U,  Awana R.  Application of Nanotechnology for Development of Latent Lip Prints: A Review. Int Healthc Res J. 2022;6(9):RV25-RV28.


Author Affiliations:

  1. Senior Lecturer, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, ITS Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Greater Noida
  2. Private Practitioner, Noida

Contact Corresponding Author at: dr.chitrangdixit[at]live[dot]com


The forensic science is the scientific approach to identify these existing identities. From the beginning of the civilization, identification of a person uses to be an integral part of various legal and cultural activities. Forensic science is used not only to identify the criminal but also to solve the hidden mysteries of the past. With the modernization of the society, the need of personal identification also became an integral part of forensic sciences, weather its recording fingerprints for biometric attendance or dental records for estimation of age. 

KEYWORDS: Nanotechnology, Lip Prints, Chelipscopy



“Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.” - -Ayn Rand

Since ancient times, the presence of a person at the crime scene used to be predicted by the fingerprints found at the crime scene.1-7 Collection of fingerprints became the prerequisite of any forensic investigation. The fingerprint powder will fix to the residues left by the finger and give rise to the distinctive patterns that help to identify an individual. Latent fingerprints are commonly developed by various colored materials.7-11 

In the era of nanotechnology, different nanomaterials are utilized to develop latent fingerprints. Nanomaterials like CdSe, ZnO, TiO, Gold nanoparticles are used to develop latent fingerprints on porous as well as non-porous surfaces.13-17 

Unlike fingerprints and DNA fingerprints, lip-prints are also unique identification tool and does not change during the entire lifespan of a person.6-8,11,12 Use of lip prints in forensic sciences for personal identification is of paramount importance in judicial settings and court proceedings.6,7,11 


Lip prints are normal lines and fissures in the forms of wrinkles and grooves present in the zone of transition of human lip, between the inner labial mucosa and outer skin, examination of which is known as cheiloscopy.6-10 It deals with examination of system of furrows on the red part of human lips. The creases on the vermilion border of the lips, which appear as white areas in lip prints, and the raised reddish areas outlined by these creases, which appear as dark areas, are analogous to the furrows and ridges of friction ridge skin. The creases on the vermilion border are also referred to as grooves, furrows, wrinkles and valleys. 

Lip prints are unique and do not change during the life of a person. It has been verified that they recover after undergoing alterations like trauma, inflammation and diseases like herpes and that the disposition and form of the furrows does not vary with environmental factors. The lip prints of parents and children and those of siblings have shown some similarities. It has also been suggested that variations in patterns among males and females could help in sex determination. 


The composition of fingerprints consists Sebaceous, Eccrine, Apocrine glands secretions which contains organic (Glycerides, Fatty acids, Wax ester, Squalene, Sterol esters, Sterols, Amino acids, Proteins, Urea, Uric acid, Lactic acid, Sugars, Creatinine, Choline, Carbohydrates) as well as inorganic (Chlorides, Metal ions, Sulfates, Phosphates, Ammonia, Water, Iron) salts. The most common technique for latent fingerprint detection is the powder method, in which powdered materials are applied in the crime scene vicinity and it is adsorbed on the sweat residue, secretions and eccrine (98% water + 20% moisture) on the fingers to obtain fingerprints. Similarly, the powder applied on the latent lip prints can be detected due to presence of organic (Peptides, histatins, cystatins, statherin, sialin, cathelicidin, defensin, growth factors, non-enzymatic proteins include mucins, lactoferrins, proline-rich proteins (PRPs), calprotectin, interferon, albumins and globulins) and inorganic salts (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and ammonium cations. The anionic group is composed of phosphates, carbonates, chlorides, rhodium and a number of micronutrients). 


Nanotechnology have wide variety of application in different fields like medicine, engineering, electrical etc. Nanotechnology is an advanced science, and due to its advantages in various fields, it is referred to as a universal purpose technology since it has its impact on relatively on all fields, industries and all areas of civilization. 

Nano-forensics, a completely new area of forensic science, nanotechnology is beginning to have an impact on the handling of evidence at crime scenes, its analysis in the laboratory and its presentation in the court room. Application of nanotechnology is likely to enhance the capacity of toxic materials, forensic evidence in tissue, materials and soil. 

The application of nanomaterial for the development of latent prints is likely to become a breakthrough in the world of forensic sciences. In a study titled Rare Earth Fluorescent Nanomaterials for Enhanced Development of Latent Fingerprints Meng Wang  Ming Li  developed latent finger prints by using rare earth materials europium oxide, yttrium oxide, lanthanum oxide. In another study conducted by Divya V and colleagues proved that the fluorescent and amphiphilic silica nano powder is very efficient for developing latent fingerprints on various surfaces under illumination with 365 nm wavelength UV light. Chavez et al. demonstrated the developed finger prints on Low Contrast Surfaces using Phosphorescent Nanomaterials. Zhaolei Wang, Xue Jiang developed latent fingerprints by utilizing hydrophilic Fe3O4@SiO2-CdTe nanoparticles the results confirmed that the bifunctional NPs have good magnetic and strong fluorescent properties favorable for their application in the detection of latent fingerprints. 

These nanosized particles, when used as a developmental method in the latent fingerprinting, reflect numerous advantages over conventional methods. These particles can easily be employed to reveal fingerprints on various surfaces and has excellent potential for envisioning of finger ridge detailing in a more precise way. This reflects the better discernibility of nanoparticles over commercially available conventional materials used for fingerprinting. 


Recently most of the studies on lip prints are basically focused on gender determination and correlation with blood group or prevalence-based studies. Lip prints as an adjuvant forensic tool has a great potential in the field of forensic sciences. The studies based on different method of development of latent lip print should be of prime concern. Previous studies use material like sudan III, magnetic black powder and lipstick marks from lip prints to develop lip prints. In the present era of nanotechnology, nanomaterials like metal oxide nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, silver nanoparticle etc. can be used for better results. 

In a study conducted by Suresh C et al. titled  “Facile LaOF: Sm3+ based labeling agent and their applications in residue chemistry of latent fingerprint and cheiloscopy under UV–visible light indicated the utility of LaOF: Sm3+ (5 mol%) NPs in visualization of LFPs, lips print as well as useful component in solid state lighting applications. 

The application of nanomaterial for the development of lip prints is likely to become a breakthrough in the world of forensic sciences. In future other nanomaterials can be used to develop and analyze latent lip prints. 


The lip-print detection method is crucial in providing evidence for crime investigations which can be presented in court. Nanotechnology is therefore developing in forensic research to effortlessly acquire evidence at crime scenes and their surroundings and present this after laboratory analysis in a court of law. The growing demand of nanotechnology today has enabled most of the scientist and analyst to go in the efficient strategic objectives and sound skills in the field of nanotechnology. Additionally, further studies using different nanoparticles on different population group can facilitate the development of multiple regression models that could possibly enhance human identification. 


  1. Venkatesh R. Cheiloscopy: An aid for personal identification. J Forensic Dent Sci. 2011 Jul-Dec; 3(2): 67–70.
  2. Karaarslan B, Karaarslan ES. Age Estimation for Dental Patients Using Orthopantomographs. Eur J Dent. 2010 Oct; 4(4): 389–394.
  3. Tiwari A. Applications of Nanotechnology in Forensic Investigation. Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., 3(3): 1047-1051.
  4. Tandon A , Srivastava A, Jaiswal R. Estimation of gender using cheiloscopy and dermatoglyphics. Natl J Maxillofac Surg. Jul-Dec 2017;8(2):102-105.
  5. Reddy LVK. Lip prints: An Overview in Forensic Dentistry. Journal of Advanced Dental Research Vol II: Issue I: January 2011.
  6. Maloth AK , SPR. Lip outline: A new paradigm in forensic sciences. J Forensic Dent Sci. 2016;8(3):178.
  7. Pandya A, Shukla RK. New perspective of nanotechnology: role in preventive forensic. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences volume 8, article number: 57 (2018).
  8. Dineshshankar J, Ganapathi N. Lip prints: Role in forensic odontology. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences June 2013 Vol 5 Supplement 1
  9. Ghimire N. Lip print pattern: an identification tool. Health Renaissance 2013; 11(3):229-233.
  10. Kumar P, Dupare R. Role of lip prints as a novel tool in personal identification: An overview. SRM Journal of Research in Dental Sciences Vol. 4 Issue 1 January-March 2013.
  11. Bharathi S, Thenmozhi MS. Cheiloscopy – Lip Print, An Determination of Sex and Individual. J Pharm Sci Res 2015;7(6): 330-3.
  12. Srivid B. Nanotechnology in Forensics and Its Application in Forensic Investigation. JPN | Volume 4 | Special Issue 2: Reviews on Pharmaceutics and Nanotechnology.
  13. Shinde SA, Malve MK. Nanotechnology and Forensic Science. Nanotechnology and Nanoscience, ISSN: 0976–7630 & E-ISSN: 0976–7649, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2010.
  14. Croxton RS, Baron MG. Variation in amino acid and lipid composition of latent fingerprints. Forensic Science International 199 (2010) 93–102.
  15. Wang YF, Yang RQ. The effectiveness of CdSe nanoparticle suspension for developing latent fingermarks. Journal of Saudi Chemical Society (2014) 18, 13–18.
  16. Algarra M, Jiménez JJ. CdS nanocomposites assembled in porous phosphate heterostructures for fingerprint detection. Optical Materials 33 (2011) 893–898.
  17. Algarraa M, Radoti K. Fingerprint detection and using intercalated CdSe nanoparticles on non-porous surfaces; Analytica Chimica Acta. 2014;812:228– 235
  18. Augustine J, Barpande SR. Cheiloscopy as an adjunct to forensic identification: a study of 600 individuals. J Forensic Odontostomatol 2008; 27:2:44-52.
  19. Dongarwar GR, Bhowate RR. Cheiloscopy-Method of Person Identification and Sex Determination. Open Access Scientific Reports 2013;2(1).
  20. Sharma P, Saxena S, Rathod V. Cheiloscopy: The study of lip prints in sex identification. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences 2009;1(1):24–7. Patel S, Paul I, Madhusudan AS. A study of lip prints in relation to gender, family and blood group. International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology. 2010; 1(1):4-7.
  21. Wang M, Li M. Rare Earth Fluorescent Nanomaterials for Enhanced Development of Latent Fingerprints. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015;7(51):28110–5.
  22. Divya V, Agrawal B, Srivastav A, Bhatt P, Bhowmik S, Agrawal YK, Maity P. Fluorescent amphiphilic silica nanopowder for developing latent fingerprints, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences 2020;52(3):354-67.
  23. Chavez D, Garcia CR. Fingerprint Detection on Low Contrast Surfaces using Phosphorescent Nanomaterials, AIP Conference Proceedings2019;2083: 020001.
  24. Wang Z, Jiang X, Liu W, et al. A rapid and operator-safe powder approach for latent fingerprint detection using hydrophilic Fe3O4@SiO2-CdTe nanoparticles. Sci China Chem. 2019;62:889–96.
  25. Chauhan V, Singh V, Tiwari A: Applications of Nanotechnology in Forensic Investigation. Int. J. Life Sci Scienti Res. 2017;3(3):1047-51.
  26. Lodha AS, Pandya A. Nanotechnology: an applied and robust approach for forensic investigation. Forensic Res Criminol Int J . 2016;2(1):35-37.
  27. Prasad V, Lukose S. Role of Nanomaterials for Forensic Investigation and Latent Fingerprinting-A Review. J Forensic Sci. 2020;65(1):26-36.
  28. Bhati K, Tripathy DB. Role of Nanoparticles in Latent Fingerprinting: An Update. Platinum open access journal 2020;9(3):1427-43.
  29. Sametband M, Shweky I. Application of nanoparticles for the enhancement of latent fingerprints. The Royal Society of Chemistry 2007 Chem Commun. 2007;1142–4.


©  Annu Saini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY-NC 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the use is not commercial and the original author(s) and source are cited.

Submitted on: 03-Oct-2022;  Accepted on: 16-Dec-2022