Post-mortem interval estimation of human skeletal remains by micro-computed tomography, mid-infrared microscopic imaging and energy dispersive X-ray mapping
In this study different state-of-the-art visualization methods such as micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), mid-infrared (MIR) microscopic imaging and energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) mapping were evaluated to study human skeletal remains for the determination of the post-mortem interval (PMI). PMI specific features were identified and visualized by overlaying molecular imaging data and morphological tissue structures generated by radiological techniques and microscopic images gained from confocal microscopy (Infinite Focus (IFM)). In this way, a more distinct picture concerning processes during the PMI as well as a more realistic approximation of the PMI were achieved. It could be demonstrated that the gained result in combination with multivariate data analysis can be used to predict the Ca/C ratio and bone volume (BV) over total volume (TV) for PMI estimation. Statistical limitation of this study is the small sample size, and future work will be based on more specimens to develop a screening tool for PMI based on the outcome of this multidimensional approach.