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Fingerprint Technology and Recognition Systems


Fingerprints are used to spot individuals and confirm their identity. Fingerprint recognition is a term used to refer to the mechanized method of authenticating equivalence between two individual fingerprints. Fingerprint analysis necessitates the comparison of numerous characteristics of the print prototype. It is required that one should know the configuration and characteristics of the human skin to victoriously utilize the imaging skills (Gaensslen, 2001, p.13).


Principles used in fingerprint analysis

There are two essential principles underlying fingerprint analysis. These include immutability and exclusivity. The immutability principle states that friction ridge blueprints do not change physically in the course of people’s lives. They, however, change in magnitude due to accidents, defacements or skin infections until demise. In addition, this pattern does not change even after death until the corpse decays (Woytowicz & Tilstone, 2004).

The principle of uniqueness states that friction ridge elements develop in a purely unsystematic manner in the course of fetal growth in the womb. There is adequate variability in the organization of minutiae to make certain that there are no two ridges which are indistinguishable. This is regardless of whether they are found on distinct digits of the same individual or the digits of different persons. This principle is however complicated to verify empirically (Bolle & Ratha, 2009, p. 320).

Comparison and evaluation of Latent Fingerprints

The term latent fingerprint is used for a fingerprint which remains behind at the panorama of a crime. The level at which a latent fingerprint is noticeable depends on the objects nature and the situation during which the object was interfered with. Effects made on soft, non-porous planes such as metal are sometimes noticeable with the naked eye. Such prints can be established with powder that holds on to the fingerprints moisture. The formed fingerprints are traced by photography. Effects made on permeable surfaces such as paper are usually invisible. These prints are spotted and enlarged with extraordinary lighting, x- rays and chemical procedures. The quantity and category of matter on digits when one comes into contact with an object influences the visibility of a latent print (Woytowicz & Tilstone, 2004).

Formation of Friction Ridge Skin

Skin is one of the principal body organs. It is identified as an organ since it comprises of numerous kinds of tissues that work together. Friction ridge skins are tiny raised ridges of membranes on the inner surfaces of people’s hands and digits. They are also found underneath the feet. The skin is comparatively smooth though friction ridges are located on the figures, soles and palms. The friction ridges work to help people to grab and cling to objects. These ridges differ in length and thickness. They branch off and surge in concert with one another to form discrete patterns. Every ridge unit matches with one basic epidermal ridge. This is formed openly beneath each pore aperture. These pore apertures are found in the exterior part of the friction ridges. They are consistently spaced (Gaensslen, 2001, p.13).

Friction ridges have small apertures along their distance end to end. These consistently display perspiration. The perspiration creates a layer on the surface of the ridges. When a person gets into contact with an object, a tacky feeling of the pattern of the friction ridge remains on the object.

Formation of friction ridge skin relates to the permanence of fingerprints. Friction ridges in their ultimate structure develop on the fetus prior to birth. Once a blueprint has been developed in the stratum basal of the skin on the fetus before birth, it does not undergo alterations except for damage, sickness or decay after death. Damages to the stratum basal may impact the capacity of the epidermis to redevelop and blemish tissue forms (Gaensslen, 2001, p.13).


Fingerprint analysis is used to separate two indistinguishable twins having a similar DNA profile. A further assertion underlying the utilization of fingerprinting to categorize individuals is that while ridge blueprints display enormous variability, they can be categorized into blueprint categories to make possible the categorization, filing and retrieval into gigantic volumes of fingerprint documentation( Bolle & Ratha,2009, p. 320).


Bolle, R. & Ratha, K. N. (2009). Automatic fingerprint recognition systems. London: Springer Publishers.

Gaensslen, E. R. (2001). Advances in fingerprint technology. Rotan: CRC Press.

Woytowicz, C. & Tilstone, J. W. (2004). Introduction to Criminalistics: The Foundation of Forensic Science. Burlington: Elsevier Academic Press.

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