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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

High-speed documented experimental gunshot to a skull-brain model and radiologic virtual autopsy.

The authors documented and evaluated experimental gunshots to a skull-brain model with high-speed photography and subsequent radiographic examination for comparison of the morphologic findings in the model. The artificial skull was a polyurethane ball constructed in layers, with a porous diploe sandwiched between a tabula externa and a tabula interna. The brain itself was simulated with gelatin 10% at 4 degrees C, a material well known in wound ballistics. Gunshots were fired at the model from a distance of 10 m and documented with high-speed photography (up to 50 million frames/sec). Subsequently, a complete examination of the artificial skull was performed, including spiral computed tomography (with two-dimensional and three-dimensional reconstructions) and classic skull autopsy. The high-speed photographs clearly showed the dynamic development of the skull fracture system from an external perspective. The subsequent radiographic examination of the entire head volume created two-dimensional reformations in any plane and three-dimensional reconstructions of the gunshot injury of the polyurethane skull-brain model, especially the wound channel and the fracture system. Thanks to the model and high-speed photographs, the dynamic development of the morphology of a gunshot wound could be documented and studied. The data from computed tomography, using two-dimensional and three-dimensional postprocessing with a perspective view, were very similar to those from classic head autopsy, but derived in a hands-off and nondestructive manner. This examination method leads the way to radiographic digital autopsy or virtual autopsy.[1]


  1. High-speed documented experimental gunshot to a skull-brain model and radiologic virtual autopsy. Thali, M.J., Kneubuehl, B.P., Vock, P., Allmen, G., Dirnhofer, R. The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology : official publication of the National Association of Medical Examiners. (2002) [Pubmed]
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