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Rapid Quantification of Bone Collagen Content by ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2016

M Lebon*
Affiliation:
Unité Mixte de Recherche 7194, Histoire Naturelle de l’Homme Préhistorique (HNHP), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Université Perpignan Via Domitia – Sorbonne Universités, 17 Place du Trocadéro, F-75116 Paris, France.
I Reiche
Affiliation:
Unité Mixte de Recherche 8220, Laboratoire d’Archéologie Moléculaire et Structurale (LAMS), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 – Sorbonne Universités, CP 225, 4 place Jussieu, F-75005, Paris, France.
X Gallet
Affiliation:
Unité Mixte de Recherche 7194, Histoire Naturelle de l’Homme Préhistorique (HNHP), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Université Perpignan Via Domitia – Sorbonne Universités, 17 Place du Trocadéro, F-75116 Paris, France.
L Bellot-Gurlet
Affiliation:
Unité Mixte de Recherche 8233, De la molécule aux nano-objets: réactivité, interactions et spectroscopies (MONARIS), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 – Sorbonne Universités, CP 49, 4 place Jussieu, F-75252 Paris, France.
A Zazzo
Affiliation:
Unité Mixte de Recherche 7209, Archéozoologie, Archéobotanique: Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnements, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Sorbonne Universités, CP 56, 55 rue Buffon, F-75005 Paris, France.
*
*Corresponding author. Email: lebon@mnhn.fr.

Abstract

Expensive and time-consuming preparation procedures for radiocarbon and stable isotope analyses can be conducted on archaeological bone samples even if no collagen is preserved. Such unsuccessful preparation can lead to the partial destruction of valuable archaeological material. Establishing a rapid prescreening method for evaluating the amount of bone collagen while minimizing the impact of sampling constitutes a challenge for the preservation of archaeological collections. This study proposes and discusses a new methodology to detect and quantify collagen content in archaeological bone samples by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. A total of 42 Pleistocene to modern bone samples were selected according to their nitrogen content measured using an elemental analyzer. Comparison of collagen content estimation using ATR-FTIR and mass spectrometry reveals that some of the studied samples are contaminated by a nitrogen source coming from the burial environment. Two different FTIR calibration approaches were tested on the uncontaminated samples: peak-to-peak ratio and multivariate regression (PLS). The two approaches yield similar results with a good correlation of ATR-FTIR analyses and N wt% from 0.7 to 4wt% (R²=0.97–0.99; standard error of estimation ±0.22 to 0.25wt%). While collagen content remains difficult to detect in poorly preserved bones (less than ~3wt%), ATR-FTIR analysis can be a fast alternative for sample screening to optimize the sampling strategy and avoid partial destruction of valuable samples that do not contain enough collagen for further analysis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2016 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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References

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