Research Institute of Forensic Medicine

The Institute of Forensic Medi­cine works on legal problems that can only be solved using medical or natural scientific expert knowledge. The institute consists of an interdisciplinary team with different areas of ex­pertise (forensic genetics, foren­sic and traffic medicine, forensic chemistry and toxicology).

3D reconstruction of a post mortem forensic CT scan<br/>Pm CT reconstruction of a 47-year-old man showing leakage of contrast agent in the right shoulder area as a sign of a traumatic bleeding after a fall down the stairs. This finding not detected at autopsy was important for the reconstruction of the event.
3D reconstruction of a post mortem forensic CT scan
Pm CT reconstruction of a 47-year-old man showing leakage of contrast agent in the right shoulder area as a sign of a traumatic bleeding after a fall down the stairs. This finding not detected at autopsy was important for the reconstruction of the event.

Besides the investigations, ana­lyses and expert reports on behalf of various authorities and tasks in academic teaching, the insti­tute has scientific key areas in fo­rensic imaging, development and validation of analytical methods in toxicology, the analysis of bio­logical traces, as well as in traffic medicine. To date, research activi­ties in forensic imaging are main­ly based on post mortem comput­ed tomography and photography.

Current studies include the evalu­ation of effects of the contrast agent used for pm CT angiography on micromorphology of tissue samples and the investigation of infrared photography for the visua­lization of subcutaneous hemato­mas and tattoos.

Future projects involve MR im­aging in living victims of violence and in deceased persons. In the living, forensic MRI will be ap­plied e.g. to detect traumatic find­ings in the soft tissues of the neck after survived strangulation and in child abuse for the assessment of the time of origin of fractures. Post mortem, main projects in­clude the validation of imaging findings in the central nervous system and the heart by compar­ing them with CT, autopsy and histology, as well as the validation of methodological developments. These projects will be performed in cooperation with other research groups.