Stabilization of troponin I for applications in clinical chemistry and forensic medicine. Cardiac troponin I: A time of death marker

Alberto Jose Sabucedo, Florida International University


Cardiac troponin I (cTnI) is one of the most useful serum marker test for the determination of myocardial infarction (MI). The first commercial assay of cTnI was released for medical use in the United States and Europe in 1995. It is useful in determining if the source of chest pains, whose etiology may be unknown, is cardiac related. Cardiac TnI is released into the bloodstream following myocardial necrosis (cardiac cell death) as a result of an infarct (heart attack). In this research project the utility of cardiac troponin I as a potential marker for the determination of time of death is investigated. The approach of this research is not to investigate cTnI degradation in serum/plasma, but to investigate the proteolytic breakdown of this protein in heart tissue postmortem. If our hypothesis is correct, cTnI might show a distinctive temporal degradation profile after death. This temporal profile may have potential as a time of death marker in forensic medicine. The field of time of death markers has lagged behind the great advances in technology since the late 1850's. Today medical examiners are using rudimentary time of death markers that offer limited reliability in the medico-legal arena. Cardiac TnI must be stabilized in order to avoid further degradation by proteases in the extraction process. Chemically derivatized magnetic microparticles were covalently linked to anti-cTnI monoclonal antibodies. A charge capture approach was also used to eliminate the antibody from the magnetic microparticles given the negative charge on the microparticles. The magnetic microparticles were used to extract cTnI from heart tissue homogenate for further bio-analysis. Cardiac TnI was eluted from the beads with a buffer and analyzed. This technique exploits banding pattern on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) followed by a western blot transfer to polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) paper for probing with anti-cTnI monoclonal antibodies. Bovine hearts were used as a model to establish the relationship of time of death and concentration/band-pattern given its homology to human cardiac TnI. The final concept feasibility was tested with human heart samples from cadavers with known time of death.

Subject Area

Analytical chemistry|Biochemistry|Biomedical research

Recommended Citation

Sabucedo, Alberto Jose, "Stabilization of troponin I for applications in clinical chemistry and forensic medicine. Cardiac troponin I: A time of death marker" (2001). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3032990.