Automatic CT-based finite element model generation for temperature-based death time estimation: feasibility study and sensitivity analysis

  • Temperature based death time estimation is based either on simple phenomenological models of corpse cooling or on detailed physical heat transfer models. The latter are much more complex, but allow a higher accuracy of death time estimation as in principle all relevant cooling mechanisms can be taken into account. Here, a complete work flow for finite element based cooling simulation models is presented. The following steps are demonstrated on CT-phantoms: • CT-scan • Segmentation of the CT images for thermodynamically relevant features of individual geometries • Conversion of the segmentation result into a Finite Element (FE) simulation model • Computation of the model cooling curve • Calculation of the cooling time For the first time in FE-based cooling time estimation the steps from the CT image over segmentation to FE model generation are semi-automatically performed. The cooling time calculation results are compared to cooling measurements performed on the phantoms under controlled conditions. In this context, the method is validated using different CTphantoms. Some of the CT phantoms thermodynamic material parameters had to be experimentally determined via independent experiments. Moreover the impact of geometry and material parameter uncertainties on the estimated cooling time is investigated by a sensitivity analysis.

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Author:Sebastian Schenkl, Holger Muggenthaler, Michael Hubig, Bodo Erdmann, Martin Weiser, Stefan Zachow, Andreas Heinrich, Felix Victor Güttler, Ulf Teichgräber, Gita Mall
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Legal Medicine
Volume:131
Issue:3
First Page:699
Last Page:712
Tag:CT segmentation; sensitivity analysis
finite element method; temperature based death time estimation
Year of first publication:2017
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1007/s00414-016-1523-0

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