Assessing the reliability of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry analyses in burned bones is the most recent article published by CIAS’ members.
The work, co-authored by Cristiana Monteiro, Maria Teresa Ferreira, Francisco Curate and David Gonçalves, was published in the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences. The complete text is available in HERE.
Although being a standard technique for bone mineral density (BMD) measurements and its study and application to defleshed bones started in the past decade, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has not been applied to burned bones. However, DXA analyses on burned bones can foreseeably increase our knowledge regarding the changes that occur on bone microstructure. Femora, patellae and first metatarsals were selected from ten skeletons from the 21st century identified skeletal collection to access the impact of heat exposure on bone through DXA analyses. The potential of the crystallinity index (CI) as a proxy for DXA was also investigated. As expected, BMD augmented along with temperature increment, which can be explained by the recrystallization process leading to an increase in crystallinity and macroscopic shrinkage of bone. A similar behaviour was found for the CI. However, the latter does not seem to be a good proxy of DXA. Still, DXA shows good potential for the study of the inorganic part of bone when submitted to high temperatures and further studies with larger samples seems promising to add further data to this preliminary investigation.