Colourimetric analysis of thermally altered human bone samples

T. Krap, J.M. Ruijter, K. Nota, J. Karel, A.L. Burgers, M.C.G. Aalders, R.J. Oostra, W. Duijst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

At this moment, no method is available to objectively estimate the temperature to which skeletal remains have been exposed during a fire. Estimating this temperature can provide crucial information in a legal investigation. Exposure of bone to heat results in observable and measurable changes, including a change in colour. To determine the exposure temperature of experimental bone samples, heat related changes in colour were systemically studied by means of image analysis. In total 1138 samples of fresh human long bone diaphysis and epiphysis, varying in size, were subjected to heat ranging from room temperature to 900 degrees C for various durations and in different media. The samples were scanned with a calibrated flatbed scanner and photographed with a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. Red, Green, Blue values and Lightness, A-, and B-coordinates were collected for statistical analysis. Cluster analysis showed that discriminating thresholds for Lightness and B-coordinate could be defined and used to construct a model of decision rules. This model enables the user to differentiate between seven different temperature clusters with relatively high precision and accuracy. The proposed decision model provides an objective, robust and non-destructive method for estimating the exposure temperature of heated bone samples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8923
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • aid dna analysis
  • behavior
  • color
  • colorimetry
  • cremations
  • diagnostic-tool
  • discoloration
  • intracortical porosity
  • temperature
  • transform infrared-spectroscopy
  • DISCOLORATION
  • AID DNA ANALYSIS
  • DIAGNOSTIC-TOOL
  • BEHAVIOR
  • TRANSFORM INFRARED-SPECTROSCOPY
  • TEMPERATURE
  • COLOR
  • CREMATIONS
  • INTRACORTICAL POROSITY
  • COLORIMETRY

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