<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 18, Issue 3, September 2010

Rom J Leg Med18(3)225-230(2010)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Potentialities of scanning electron microscopy and EDX analysis in bullet wounds

C. Biro, P. Kovac, M. Palkovic, O. El-Hassoun, M. Caplovicova, J. Novotny, J. Jakubovsky

Abstract: Since the development of electron microscopy, it opened new horizons for medical and physical research. In forensic medicine, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersing microanalyser (EDX) provides valuable information about the morphology of injuries, and injury implements. In the paper, we aim to confirm the potencialities of the use of scanning electron microscopy together with the X ray microanalyzer EDX for evaluating the interaction of a bullet passing though tissues of the human body. We performed SEM and EDX analysis from skin tissue samples taken from bullet wound sites, and brain tissue from the depth of the bullet wound in head firearm injuries. We demonstrated the presence of light particles on the sample surface and in the depth of the bullet wound canal. Analysing the compositions of the particles we detected Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ca, Cu and Zn in both skin and brain samples. Microparticles were most expressive at the bullet wound site, while deeper in the wound canal, they were present in minimal amounts. We conclude that scanning electron microscope together with EDX analysis, are suitable for forensic investigation of firearm wounds, as they enable the determination of projectile parameters and an approximate estimation of the firearm distance.
Keywords: SEM, EDX, Firearm wound, Projectile, Microparticles

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