Entry for:150 Years of Discovery: Emerging Research
1. Please provide a brief summary of your video and research.
From the multitude of forensic specializations, blood spatter evidence from cranial gunshot wounding is of particular interest because of the high mortality rate resulting from head wounding compared to other body parts. Traditionally, animal models and physical models of the human anatomy have been used to study the mechanism and extent of ballistic spatters, including backspatter. Backspatter is a retrograde spattering of the target material from the entry wound. The reverse directionality of the backspatter has specific evidential value, as it may establish a link between the victim and the shooter via transfer of biological matter. Despite the importance of backspatter, the understanding of its mechanism has remained inadequate due to ethical issues, difference in anatomical geometry associated with various animal samples, or material property difference among biological and synthetic materials used in physical experiments.
In this study, a mesh-free method called Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) is used to develop a numerical model to simulate high speed ballistic impacts. An anatomically accurate model and a simplified geometry model was constructed and simulated, while their physical equivalent models have been manufactured and is undergoing experimentation and data analysis to verify the value of the simulations. From the preliminary analysis, the numerical models matched well with its physical equivalent experimentation in both material deformation characteristics and the timing of key events, demonstrating the potential of the simulation models as a better alternative to animal and physical models. This work provides basis for a more complicated, anatomically accurate geometric cranium model to further develop reliable and robust simulation of cranial ballistic impact. Such numerical models can act as alternatives to the animal or physical models for investigation of backspatter in a variety of situations.
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