International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 127, Issue 1, pp 169–176

Deciphering the elusive nature of sharp bone trauma using epifluorescence macroscopy: a comparison study multiplexing classical imaging approaches

  • Caroline Capuani
  • Jacques Rouquette
  • Bruno Payré
  • Jacques Moscovici
  • Marie Bernadette Delisle
  • Norbert Telmon
  • Céline Guilbeau-Frugier
Technical Note

DOI: 10.1007/s00414-012-0678-6

Cite this article as:
Capuani, C., Rouquette, J., Payré, B. et al. Int J Legal Med (2013) 127: 169. doi:10.1007/s00414-012-0678-6

Abstract

Characterization of sharp-force trauma on human bones can be extremely useful in providing information regarding the nature and context of death. Nevertheless, in the identification of weapons used to cause sharp-force trauma and analysis of bone wounds, challenging tasks still remain. Current analysis attempting to dissect bone wound characteristics varied quite a lot and mixed different criteria, thus leading sometimes to conflicting results. In this context, the aim of our study is to clarify qualitative aspects of cut marks induced by sharp weapons on human bones. For that purpose, we analyzed bone samples via an original approach based on bone autofluorescence with an epifluorescence macroscope and compared it to previous existing methods. In this study, we used bone sections from human clavicles on which three different kinds of lesions were manually implemented, using different weapons. The bone wounds were analyzed by three different methodologies, light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and micro-computed tomography, and were compared with epifluorescence macroscopy. We paid attention more significantly to the aspect of walls and floor of the kerf, so as to conclude on the nature and distinguish between weapons used. Among all technologies used in this study, the most precise and efficient methods were epifluorescence macroscopy and SEM. Nonetheless, epifluorescence macroscopy is faster, cheaper, and more accessible than SEM. More significantly, this technique, which has the potential to accurately document the nature of the damage, is nondestructive, and could thus be highly useful in forensic science as anthropology.

Keywords

Epifluorescence macroscopySharp-force bone traumaQualitative tool mark analysisScanning electron microscopyMicro-computed tomography

Supplementary material

414_2012_678_MOESM1_ESM.doc (29 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 29 kb)
414_2012_678_Fig4_ESM.jpg (55 kb)
ESM 2

Epifluorescence macroscopy analysis (bone is illuminated with fluorescence excitation). a Hatchet lesion, bilateral rising of the edges. b Hatchet lesion, flake in the floor of the kerf. c Non-serrated lesion, bilateral rising of the edges. d Serrated lesion, magnification of the flakes on the floor. Arrows correspond to the kerf of the lesion (DOC 54.7 kb)

414_2012_678_MOESM2_ESM.tif (9.1 mb)
High resolution image file (TIF 9.09 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Capuani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacques Rouquette
    • 3
    • 4
  • Bruno Payré
    • 5
  • Jacques Moscovici
    • 6
  • Marie Bernadette Delisle
    • 2
  • Norbert Telmon
    • 1
    • 7
  • Céline Guilbeau-Frugier
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Moléculaire et d’Imagerie de SynthèseUniversité Toulouse IIIToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Service d’Anatomie Pathologique et Histologie-CytologieCentre Hospitalier Universitaire Rangueil-LarreyToulouse Cedex 9France
  3. 3.Université de Toulouse; ITAV-UMS3039ToulouseFrance
  4. 4.CNRS; ITAV-UMS3039ToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Centre de Microscopie Electronique Appliquée à la Biologie, IFR 150Université Toulouse III, Faculté de Médecine RangueilToulouse Cedex 4France
  6. 6.Laboratoire d’Anatomie, Faculté de MédecineToulouse CedexFrance
  7. 7.Unité Médico-JudiciaireCentre Hospitalier Universitaire RangueilToulouse Cedex 9France