TG-MS characterisation of pig bone in an inert atmosphere

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Journal Article
Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 2007, 88 (2), pp. 405 - 409
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A challenge for forensic examiners is the ageing and characterisation of bone fragments or decomposed skeletal remains. Due to the sensitivity of thermal methods to morphological states, thermal analysis has been selected as a technique which could overcome the difficulties. In this preliminary study, TG-MS was applied to the characterisation of bone fragments derived from the compact bone of pig rib specimens. TG-MS curves were collected by heating bone samples to 1000°C in an argon atmosphere. Under these conditions, both the organic and inorganic phases decomposed, producing a variety of organic fragments and carbon dioxide. Pyrolysis of the organic phase, which is composed predominantly of collagen, occurred resulting in the observation of ion fragments up to 110 amu. Selected fragments were monitored and their observation is discussed in terms of the decomposition of both the collagen phase and the inorganic carbonated hydroxyapatite phase. © Springer-Verlag 2007.
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