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Int J Legal Med. 2016 Sep;130(5):1315-22. doi: 10.1007/s00414-016-1334-3. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

A novel method for pair-matching using three-dimensional digital models of bone: mesh-to-mesh value comparison.

Author information

1
Edinburgh Unit of Forensic Anthropology, Edinburgh, UK. marakarell@gmail.com.
2
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. marakarell@gmail.com.
3
Edinburgh Unit of Forensic Anthropology, Edinburgh, UK.
4
School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
5
Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
6
Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy.
7
UMR 7268 ADES, Aix-Marseille Université/EFS/CNRS, Marseille, France.
8
Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abstract

The commingling of human remains often hinders forensic/physical anthropologists during the identification process, as there are limited methods to accurately sort these remains. This study investigates a new method for pair-matching, a common individualization technique, which uses digital three-dimensional models of bone: mesh-to-mesh value comparison (MVC). The MVC method digitally compares the entire three-dimensional geometry of two bones at once to produce a single value to indicate their similarity. Two different versions of this method, one manual and the other automated, were created and then tested for how well they accurately pair-matched humeri. Each version was assessed using sensitivity and specificity. The manual mesh-to-mesh value comparison method was 100 % sensitive and 100 % specific. The automated mesh-to-mesh value comparison method was 95 % sensitive and 60 % specific. Our results indicate that the mesh-to-mesh value comparison method overall is a powerful new tool for accurately pair-matching commingled skeletal elements, although the automated version still needs improvement.

KEYWORDS:

3D geometry; 3D modeling; Commingled remains; Forensic anthropology; Mesh-to-mesh value comparison; Pair-matching

PMID:
26966098
PMCID:
PMC4976056
DOI:
10.1007/s00414-016-1334-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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