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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
Publisher: http://www.astm.org 
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:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=203512

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