Department Chair

Kimberly Bagley

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Forensic Science, M.S.


Chemistry Department


Douglas Ridolfi

First Reader

Douglas Ridolfi

Second Reader

Joonyeong Kim, PhD.

Third Reader

Jinseok Heo, PhD.


Within the field of forensic science, there are limited reliable methods for the simulation of pattern injuries on human skin and tissue that may aid in aspects of crime scene reconstruction. The tissue simulant must be of sufficient integrity for recording blunt force trauma and bite mark impressions, electrocution, cutting, and gunshot wound related injuries for the purpose of re-enactment, court exhibition, and distance determination. For wound reenactments (such as blunt force trauma, bite mark impressions and electrocution), dead skin and tissue from human cadavers do not show wounding patterns that would occur on live tissue. This study examines different tissue simulants for the recreation of wound patterns without the use of live animals. For each wound reenactment, tissue simulants (such as ballistic soap, ordnance gelatin and “ballistic dummies”) were penetrated and wound patterns were formed and were analyzed in detail. Penetration depth, as well as the path shape, were analyzed for both stabbings and gunshot wounds. For the electrocution wound pattern, a Taser was tested on ballistic soap.

Photography was used to document findings with the various tissue simulants. In this research, comparison and stereo microscopes were also used to observe the different wound patterns in detail and compare the weapon used to the wound it formed. The wound patterns were also compared with patterns observed during other injury simulations, found in the literature on human remains to determine which simulant was the most ideal for recreating several types of wound patterns. This is a means by which the events of a crime can be visualized and validated and then be brought before a jury to help understand how a pattern injury occurred. This research provides insight to the area that is relatively unexplored in crime scene reconstruction by helping to identify the type of injury and weapon, based on the appearance of wounds.