Age estimation based on chemical approaches

Sara C. Zapico, Cassandra M. DeGaglia, Joe Adserias-Garriga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The core of age estimation based on chemical techniques is aspartic acid racemization. This technique has been applied and tested in human tissues since its discovery in 1975 finding a high correlation with age and low error estimations. However, it is not immune to drawbacks, and additional techniques are being explored. Lead accumulation has been analyzed for health purposes and studies are not in agreement related to its increase with age. In addition, there is only one lead accumulation study with forensic purposes. The same is true for studies of collagen cross-links. The few studies with forensic purposes point to a correlation; however, there is low accuracy between estimated and real age. Chemical composition of teeth requires wide chemistry knowledge to correctly correlate with age. Finally, advanced glycation end products are well known to increase with age and in aging-related diseases and can be useful in forensic cases. However, there are only a few studies toward this purpose and they are not in agreement about its accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAge Estimation
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128144923
ISBN (Print)9780128144916
StatePublished - Apr 12 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Advanced glycation end products (AGEs)
  • Aspartic acid racemization
  • Chemical composition of teeth
  • Collagen cross-links
  • D-aspartic acid
  • Fire death cases
  • Gas chromatography (GC)
  • HPLC
  • L-aspartic acid
  • Lead accumulation
  • Raman spectroscopy


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