Elemental analysis of bone: Proton-induced X-ray emission testing in forensic cases

M. W. Warren, A. B. Falsetti, I. I. Kravchenko, F. E. Dunnam, H. A. Van Rinsvelt, W. R. Maples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) is a spectroscopic technique that provides the researcher with the elemental composition of a given target material. In this paper, we illustrate the utility of PIXE analysis in two forensic contexts: (1) case of cremation in which the nature of the remains is questioned and (2) cases of death by gunshot wound. In the first case, elemental analysis by PIXE reveals that the purported cremated remains are not bone. The last two cases show that radiopaque metallic residue embedded in bone is composed of lead from a projectile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 24 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cremation
  • Elemental analysis
  • Forensic anthropology
  • GSW
  • PIXE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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