Volume 37, Issue 4 (July 1992)
A Microscopic Comparison of Fresh and Burned Bone
Examination of miscrostructure of human bone is useful in estimating age at death in forensic science cases. This technique has been tested and is well accepted, however samples of burned bone may complicate analysis because of possible changes in the microstructure occurring during the burning process. In a comparison of fresh and burned ground thin sections taken from midshaft femorae of eight dissecting-room cadavers of known age and sex, this study finds significant shrinkage of microstructural elements through the burning process. These results are compared to previous work on the subject, which found the microstructural elements to increase through the burning process.