Volume 37, Issue 3 (May 1992)
Scanning Electron Microscopy: Application in the Identification of Diatoms in Cases of Drowning
A simple and rapid method is described for processing organ and water samples for the identification of diatoms so that they can be studied and recorded for taxonomic and diagnostic purposes. Samples are treated with concentrated nitric acid; the fluid obtained is centrifuged, and its sediment is dried, coated, and examined under the scanning electron microscope. The method does not alter the morphology of diatoms and allows the study of freshwater and seawater species present in the organs of bodies found in the water, making possible the diagnosis of drowning under specific conditions.