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Estimating the postmortem interval of human skeletal remains by analyzing their fluorescence at 365 and 490 nm


Sterzik, V; Holz, F; Ohlwärther, T E N; Thali, Michael J; Birngruber, C G (2018). Estimating the postmortem interval of human skeletal remains by analyzing their fluorescence at 365 and 490 nm. International journal of legal medicine, 132(3):933-938.

Abstract

The study presented here is regarded as a continuation of the experiments of Sterzik et al., who developed a new practical method to distinguish between historical and recent human skeletal remains. Bone cross-sections were illuminated using light with wavelengths of 365 and 490 nm, causing fluorescence. The fluorescence was documented by photography and further analyzed to examine the areal extent of a certain fluorescent color. Contrary to the previous experiments of Sterzik et al., the present study focused on bones with postmortem intervals (PMIs) ≥ 50 years. Therefore, this study fills the gap created by the former study, pointing towards a correlation between the PMI and the areal extent of the fluorescent surface in both tests. The presence of blue and red fluorescent surfaces < 1% indicated a PMI ≥ 50 years. Furthermore, the presence of blue and red fluorescent surfaces > 1% can be regarded as a marker to exclude a PMI ≥ 50 years; in fact, these bones are likely to have a PMI < 30 years.

Abstract

The study presented here is regarded as a continuation of the experiments of Sterzik et al., who developed a new practical method to distinguish between historical and recent human skeletal remains. Bone cross-sections were illuminated using light with wavelengths of 365 and 490 nm, causing fluorescence. The fluorescence was documented by photography and further analyzed to examine the areal extent of a certain fluorescent color. Contrary to the previous experiments of Sterzik et al., the present study focused on bones with postmortem intervals (PMIs) ≥ 50 years. Therefore, this study fills the gap created by the former study, pointing towards a correlation between the PMI and the areal extent of the fluorescent surface in both tests. The presence of blue and red fluorescent surfaces < 1% indicated a PMI ≥ 50 years. Furthermore, the presence of blue and red fluorescent surfaces > 1% can be regarded as a marker to exclude a PMI ≥ 50 years; in fact, these bones are likely to have a PMI < 30 years.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:German
Date:2018
Deposited On:09 Feb 2018 13:18
Last Modified:18 Apr 2018 01:03
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0937-9827
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-017-1759-3
PubMed ID:29256137

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