Intervertebral Disc, Postmortem Interval, Stress Relaxation, Spine, Schapery Collocation
Currently, forensic scientists are only able to determine time since death (or postmortem interval) up to the first 60 hours. This is based largely on insect activity. Herein, it is proposed to use the degradation of the intervertebral disc (IVD) after death to determine a relationship between the mechanical properties of cadaveric tissue and time since death in order to extend the 60-hour window. To that end, 1 fresh human spine and 6 pig spines were each separated into sections (6 human and 48 pig), with each section having one intact disc. The sections were buried, unearthed, and cleaned, leaving only the disc and bone. To determine the mechanical properties, each disc underwent three different tests: cyclic conditioning, compression, and stress relaxation testing. The Schapery collocation method was used to create a theoretical curve from the data for the experimental curve. Observations were made involving the corresponding k values of the curve. Although there are trends in the data for k values that approximate the experimental stress relaxation curve, a correlation could not be determined.
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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Jackson, Jennifer Noelle, "Mechanical Properties Of The Intervertebral Disc As An Estimator Of Postmortem Interval" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 452.