The University of Arizona

A Nondestructive Prescreening Method for Bone Collagen Content Using Micro-Computed Tomography

J A Tripp, M E Squire, J Hamilton, R M Hedges

Abstract


Isolation of bone collagen for radiocarbon dating is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process that sometimes results in unacceptably low protein recovery. In preliminary studies reported here, micro-computed tomography (microCT), a nondestructive technique that uses X-rays to produce high-resolution three-dimensional images of mineralized materials such as bone, offers promise as a suitable prescreening option for bones of questionable preservation. We have found that the bone volume fraction calculated by the scanner software correlates well with collagen recovery in 4 analyzed bones from Etton, United Kingdom.

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