A novel approach for rapid cell assessment to estimate DNA recovery from human bone tissue

Thien Ngoc Le, Dzenita Muratovic, Oliva Handt, Julianne Henry, Adrian Linacre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the use of a DNA staining dye to locate and record nucleated osteocytes and other bone-related cells within sections of archived formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded human tibia from which informative DNA profiles were obtained. Eleven of these archived tibia samples were sectioned at a thickness of 5 µm. Diamond™ Nucleic Acid Dye was applied to the sections and cells within the matrix of the bone fluoresced so that their location and number of cells could be photographed. DNA was isolated from these 11 samples using a standard extraction process and the yields were quantified by real-time PCR. Complete STR profiles were generated from ten bone extracts where low-level inhibition was recorded with an incomplete STR profile obtained from one sample with higher inhibition. The stained image of this sample showed that few cells were present. There was a significant relationship between the number of DD-stained cells and the number of alleles obtained (p < 0.05). Staining cells to determine the prevalence of bone cell nuclei allows a triage of samples prior to any subsequent DNA profiling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-659
Number of pages11
JournalForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Issue number4
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Bone cells
  • Diamond nucleic acid dye
  • Human bone
  • Osteocytes
  • STR typing


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