Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Analyzing reflectance spectra of human skin in legal medicine

Liudmila Belenki, Vera Sterzik, Katharina Schulz & Michael Bohnert

abstract Our current research in the framework of an interdisciplinary project focuses on modelling the dynamics of the hemoglobin reoxygenation process in post-mortem human skin by reflectance spectrometry. The observations of reoxygenation of hemoglobin in livores after postmortem exposure to a cold environment relate the reoxygenation to the commonly known phenomenon that the color impression of livores changes from livid to pink under low ambient temperatures. We analyze the spectra with respect to a physical model describing the optical properties of human skin, discuss the dynamics of the reoxygenation, and propose a phenomenological model for reoxygenation. For additional characterization of the reflectance spectra, the curvature of the local minimum and maximum in the investigated spectral range is considered. There is a strong correlation between the curvature of specra at a wavelength of 560 nm and the concentration of O2-Hb. The analysis is carried out via C programs, as well as MySQL database queries in Java EE, JDBC, Matlab, and Python.
citation Belenki L, Sterzik V, Schulz K, Bohnert M. Analyzing reflectance spectra of human skin in legal medicine. J Biomed Opt 2013; 18:17004.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 1-2013
journal title J Biomed Opt (18/1)
ISSN electronic 1560-2281
pages 17004
PubMed 23296040
DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.18.1.017004