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Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis of Experimental Bone Hacking Trauma of the Mandible

Alunni-Perret, Véronique MD, PhD*; Borg, Cybèle DDS; Laugier, Jean-Pierre; Bertrand, Marie-France DDS, PhD; Staccini, Pascal MD, PhD§; Bolla, Marc DDS, PhD; Quatrehomme, Gérald MD, PhD*; Muller-Bolla, Michèle DDS, PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2010 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 326-329
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181e2ed0b
Original Articles

The authors report on a macroscopic and microscopic study of human mandible bone lesions achieved by a single-blade knife and a hatchet. The aim of this work was to complete the previous data (scanning electron microscopy analysis of bone lesions made by a single-blade knife and a hatchet, on human femurs) and to compare the lesions of the femur with those of the mandible. The results indicate that the mandible is a more fragile bone, but the features observed on the mandible are quite similar to those previously observed on the femur. This work spells out the main scanning electron microscopy characteristics of sharp (bone cutting) and blunt (exerting a pressure on the bone) mechanisms on human bone. Weapon characteristics serve to explain all of these features.

From the *Laboratoire de Médecine Légale et Anthropologie Médico-Légale, Faculté de Médecine, UMR 6235 CNRS, GEPITOS; †Laboratoire d'Analyse des Surfaces et Interfaces en Odontologie, Faculté de Chirurgie Dentaire; ‡Centre Commun de Microscopie Appliquée; and §Département de Biostatistique, Informatique Médicale et Technologies de Communication, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Nice, France.

Manuscript received February 25, 2008; accepted April 8, 2008.

Reprints: Véronique Alunni-Perret, MD, PhD, Laboratoire de Médecine Légale et Anthropologie Médico-Légale, Faculté de Médecine, UMR 6235 CNRS, GEPITOS, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, 28 Avenue de Valombrose, 06107 Nice CEDEX 2, France. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.