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Age-Dependent Fracture Characteristics of Rigid and Compliant Surface Impacts on the Infant Skull—A Porcine Model

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This study documents skull fracture characteristics on infant porcine specimens under known impact conditions with respect to age and interface. A single impact causing fracture was conducted on the skull of porcine specimens aged 2–28 days (n = 76). Paired rigid and compliant impacts at the same energy were conducted at each specimen age. Impact force, impact duration, and fracture length were recorded. Energy required to initiate skull fracture increased with specimen age. For a given energy, impact of the skull with a compliant interface caused more fracture damage than with a rigid interface for specimens aged under 17 days, but less damage for specimens aged 24–28 days. The documentation of energy required to cause fracture and resulting fracture propagation with respect to impact interface and age may be of critical importance in forensic investigations of infant skull trauma.

Keywords: age dependency; forensic science; infant; interface dependency; porcine; skull fracture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratories, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. 2: Department of Anthropology, College of Social Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824. 3: Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Inc., Farmington Hills, MI 48331.

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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