Use of an Alternate Light Source to Detect Tooth and Bone

Geraldo Elias Miranda Rodolfo Francisco Haltenhoff Melani Luiz Francisquini Júnior Eduardo Daruge JúniorAbout the authors


The aim of this study was to identify the combination of wavelength and filter that best detects tooth and bone, and to determine which biological materials (enamel, dental root or bone) have highest fluorescence intensity when exposed to an alternate light source (ALS). Tooth and bone samples were lighted with ALS and photographed. Adobe Photoshop™ and ImageJ™ softwares were used for image analysis. Data obtained by measuring the photograph pixels were subjected to analysis of variance. The mean values of significant effects were compared by the Tukey test. In all tests, the significance level was set at p≤0.05 and the values calculated by the SAS system. The results showed that the best combination for detecting tooth and bone is an illumination wavelength of 455 nm with an orange filter. The fluorescence of dental root is greater than that of enamel, which in turn is greater than that of bone. The biological material had markedly higher fluorescence than the inert material. This knowledge can help the forensic expert to screen and detect biological materials, for example in situations where there are fragmented teeth and small bones, both at the scene and in the laboratory.

Key Words:
fluorescence; tooth; bone; alternate light source; crime scene investigation.

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