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Toward a Predictive Assessment of Stab-Penetration Forces

Ní Annaidh, Aisling PhD; Cassidy, Marie MD, FRCPath; Curtis, Michael MD, FRCPath; Destrade, Michel PhD, DSc; Gilchrist, Michael D. PhD, DEng

American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology: September 2015 - Volume 36 - Issue 3 - p 162–166
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000075
CME Articles

Abstract: Collaborative research between the disciplines of forensic pathology and biomechanics was undertaken to investigate the hyperelastic properties of human skin, to determine the force required for sharp instrument penetration of skin, and to develop a finite element model, which reflects the mechanisms of sharp instrument penetration. These studies have led to the development of a “stab metric,” based on simulations, to describe the force magnitudes in stabbing incidents. Such a metric should, in time, replace the crudely quantitative descriptors of stabbing forces currently used by forensic pathologists.

From the *School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield; and †Office of the State Pathologist, Fire Brigade Training Centre, Marino; and ‡School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.

Manuscript received November 16, 2012; accepted January 18, 2013.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Marie Cassidy, MD, Office of the State Pathologist, Fire Brigade Training Centre, Malahide Rd, Marino, Dublin 3, Ireland. E-mail:

© 2015 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.