American Chemical Society
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Novel Ambient Oxidation Trends in Fingerprint Aging Discovered by Kendrick Mass Defect Analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-21, 12:07 authored by Andrew E. Paulson, Young Jin Lee
A Kendrick mass defect (KMD) plot is an efficient way to disperse complex high-resolution mass spectral data in a visually informative two-dimensional format which allows for the rapid assignment of compound classes that differ by heteroatom content and/or unsaturation. Fingerprint lipid oxidation has the potential to be used to estimate the time since deposition of a fingerprint, but the mass spectra become extremely complex as the lipids degrade. We apply KMD plot analysis for the first time to sebaceous fingerprints aged for 0–7 days to characterize lipid degradation processes analyzed by MALDI-MS. In addition to the ambient ozonolysis of fingerprint lipids previously reported, we observed unique spectral features associated with epoxides and medium chain fatty acid degradation products that are correlated with fingerprint age. We propose an ambient epoxidation mechanism via a peroxyl radical intermediate and the prevalence of omega-10 fatty acyl chains in fingerprint lipids to explain the features observed by the KMD plot analysis. Our hypotheses are supported by an aging experiment performed in a sparse ozone condition and on-surface Paternò–Büchi reaction. A comprehensive understanding of fingerprint degradation processes, afforded by the KMD plots, provides crucial insights for considering which ions to monitor and which to avoid, when creating a robust model for time since deposition of fingerprints.