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Restoration of Fingerprints from a Mummified Cadaver | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7145

Journal of Forensic Research
Open Access

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Research Article

Restoration of Fingerprints from a Mummified Cadaver

Etsuko Iwakami, Seisaku Uchigasaki and Jian Tie*

Division of Legal Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan

*Corresponding Author:
Jian Tie
Division of Legal Medicine,Department of Social Medicine
Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi
Kamimachi, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3972-8111 ex. 2277
Fax: +81-3-3958-7776
E-mail: tetsu,[email protected]

Received Date: September 12, 2011; Accepted Date: October 14, 2011; Published Date: October, 2011

Citation: Iwakami E, Uchigasaki S, Tie J (2011) Restoration of Fingerprints from a Mummified Cadaver. J Forensic Res S6:001. doi: 10.4172/2157-7145.S6-001

Copyright: © 2011 Iwakami E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Fingerprints are widely used as the most reliable means of individual identification in forensic science. However, postmortem changes of the skin always make it difficult to obtain fingerprints. To restore fingerprints of mummified cadavers, various reagents have been used. In recent years, commercially available embalming agents for cadaver restoration and preservation have been evaluated, but they have not been sufficiently compared. In this study, we successfully restored fingerprints from a highly dried, almost mummified, unidentified cadaver. Five methods were attempted to restore fingerprints: three used previously reported reagents and two used commercially available embalming solutions at room temperature. The fingers were observed grossly after immersion for 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 days. When all the specimens were well restored, fingerprints were taken by the inked impression method and by an indirect method using silicone rubber. The results indicated that Na2CO3, and Sofner® were more effective to restore clear fingerprints. The other solutions failed to produce optimal tissue softening and swelling, and the dermal ridges were ill-defined. The conventional Na2CO3 and the newly tested Sofner® were useful in that they restored better fingerprints in a shorter duration. Na2CO3 has to be prepared before use, whereas Sofner® can be used by simply diluting with water


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