Determination of Time since Death using Vitreous Humor Tryptophan

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Abstract

Determination of time since death (TSD) plays very important role in forensic examination as it narrows down field of suspects and aids in deceased identification. This study utilizes the fluorescence property of vitreous humor (VH) tryptophan to determine TSD using o-phthalaldehyde (OPA). The detection limit of these fluorometric studies was found to be 8 ppb indicating sensitivity and high accuracy in TSD determination. The study was performed on selected 76 cadaver with known TSD ranging from 3 to 90 h. Excellent correlation between VH tryptophan and TSD was obtained with a coefficient of correlation R2 = 0.9590. Results showed statistically significant increase in vitreous tryptophan with TSD up to 90 h, and the proposed method was efficaciously applied for prediction of TSD as no systematic error exist. The regression equation obtained from the study is [Trp] = 2.21 + 2.98 * TSD.

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