skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 203512 Find in a Library
Title: Forensic Microradiology: Micro-Computed Tomography (Micro-CT) and Analysis of Patterned Injuries Inside of Bone
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:48  Issue:6  Dated:November 2003  Pages:1336-1342
Author(s): Michael J. Thali M.D.; Ulrike Taubenreuther Ph.D.; Marek Karolczak Ph.D.; Marcel Braun; Walter Brueschweiler Ph.D.; Willi A. Kalender Ph.D.; Richard Dirnhofer M.D.
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses micro-computed tomography (Micro-CT), which offers an opportunity to analyze patterned injuries of tool marks made in bone.
Abstract: Recently technologies have been developed to analyze toolmarks on bone but there is currently no adequate method for quantitative analysis of stabbing knife wounds in bone. Micro-CT was introduced in the mid 1990's as a scaled-down, high-resolution imaging method in the medical field. Micro-CT offers a worthwhile opportunity to analyze patterned injuries of tool marks inside a bone. Using high-resolution Micro-CT and computer software with detailed analysis of three-dimensional architecture, it has recently become feasible to obtain microstructural 3D bone information. This study explored whether 3D methods of Micro-CT have the potential to examine stabbing wounds in bone with high resolution in a non-invasive manner. A homicide case with sharp force injuries to skin, soft tissue, and skeletal tissue (pelvis) was the test case. Analysis of this case revealed that Micro-CT provides a very useful tool to narrow down the choice of knives that caused the bone injury. Even broken blade fragments could be graphically and non-destructively assigned to a suspect weapon. By using the microradiological method, it is possible to document “class characteristics” of the injury, such as general size, profile, shape, and direction of travel/movement. Future studies with a higher spatial resolution Micro-CT may determine “individual characteristics” (caused by imperfections or irregularities on the surface of the implements) of a knife injury in bone. Micro-CT provides a new and advantageous tool for non-destructive examination and analysis of patterned tool marks inside bone. This new method can be used for matching a possible injury-causing instrument against the patterned lesion inside the bone. Combining forensic pathology skills with high-technology imaging is in the future for forensic medicine and forensic science. 8 figures, 14 references
Main Term(s): Investigative techniques; Stabbings
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Forensic pathology; Knives; Murder; Weapons; Weapons violations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.