The Science of Trace Evidence

For over 25 years, clients around the world have put their trust in our skill and discretion to solve their most delicate problems.
Microtrace is a materials analysis laboratory, specializing in the characterization and identification of small quantities and single small particles of unknown substances, using a combination of state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques based on microscopy and microchemistry. Our analytical approach is sample driven, which allows us to provide solutions to problems outside or beyond the scope of typical in-house, commercial or forensic laboratories. Since 1992, we have provided analytical support in criminal and civil litigation, to the insurance, pharmaceutical, food, environmental and manufacturing industries, as well as clients in art, collectibles, and antiquities.

News from Microtrace

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021! Read More

Rosa Mystica

At 6:30 pm (CST) on Tuesday December 8th, 2020, the Illinois chapter of PAVM will present "Mary: Hearer of the Word," detailing recent restoration efforts on a 16th-century painting. Microtrace is a sponsor of the project, and assisted by sampling and analyzing pigments from the work. Read More

Timmothy Pitzen Disappearance- Real Life Nightmare

On Sunday, December 6, Real Life Nightmare will feature the Timmothy Pitzen disappearance case. "You'll Never Find Him" will air at 10pm/9pm central on CNN Headline News. Microtrace assisted the investigation by examining and attempting to source soil from the kidnapper's car. Read More

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Recent Publications

Asian Forensic Sciences Network Guest Speaker

On 11 November 2020, the Trace Evidence Working Group of AFSN held a Forensic Science Symposium. Invited speaker Skip Palenik presented "An Introduction to Forensic Hair & Fiber Microscopy with Special Attention to Databases.” Read More

Article: Characterization of Aluminum Powders in IEDs

"Characterization and differentiation of aluminum powders used in improvised explosive devices" Co-authored by Jack Hietpas, Ph.D. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2020 Read More

Book Chapter- Forensic Hair Microscopy

The Handbook of Trace Evidence Analysis (August 2020) contains a chapter authored by Jason Beckert, M.S., entitled "Forensic Hair Microscopy." Read More

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