Application of Innovative TGA/Chemometric Approach for Forensic Purposes: The Estimation of the Time since Death in Contaminated Specimens

Chronothanatology has always been a challenge in forensic sciences. Therefore, the importance of a multidisciplinary approach for the characterization of matrices (organs, tissues, or fluids) that respond linearly to the postmortem interval (PMI) is emerging increasingly. The vitreous humor is parti...

Full description

Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Roberta Risoluti, Giuseppina Gullifa, Vittorio Fineschi, Paola Frati, Stefano Materazzi
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: MDPI AG 2021-01-01
Series:Diagnostics
Subjects:
Online Access:https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4418/11/1/121
Description
Summary:Chronothanatology has always been a challenge in forensic sciences. Therefore, the importance of a multidisciplinary approach for the characterization of matrices (organs, tissues, or fluids) that respond linearly to the postmortem interval (PMI) is emerging increasingly. The vitreous humor is particularly suitable for studies aimed at assessing time-related modifications because it is topographically isolated and well-protected. In this work, a novel approach based on thermogravimetry and chemometrics was used to estimate the time since death in the vitreous humor and to collect a databank of samples derived from postmortem examinations after medico–legal evaluation. In this study, contaminated and uncontaminated specimens with tissue fragments were included in order to develop a classification model to predict time of death based on partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) that was as robust as possible. Results demonstrate the possibility to correctly predict the PMI even in contaminated samples, with an accuracy not lower than 70%. In addition, the correlation coefficient of the measured versus predicted outcomes was found to be 0.9978, confirming the ability of the model to extend its feasibility even to such situations involving contaminated vitreous humor.
ISSN:2075-4418