Thesis

Evaluation of the OxyVu Hyperspectral Oximetry System in a rat model as a tool to determine time of death

The time of death of an individual can contain important information to a crime scene investigator. Current methods to determine the post-mortem interval of a deceased individual are not entirely accurate or reliable. In order to devise a more effective method, we examined the OxyVu Hyperspectral Oximetry system. This system measures the levels of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin across a particular area of the dermis skin layer. It is hypothesized that upon death in an individual, levels of oxyhemoglobin decrease while deoxyhemoglobin levels increase. The OxyVu system was employed on a laboratory rat model where various spectroscopic readings were taken on euthanized rats to see if a relationship exists between oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin levels in the rat after death. The results failed to show any conclusive, accurate or consistent findings between hemoglobin levels after death. These findings suggest that there may be no relationship between oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin levels after death.

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