Bruises can be important evidence in legal medicine, for example in cases of child abuse. Optical techniques can be used to discriminate and quantify the chromophores present in bruised skin, and thereby aid dating of an injury. However, spectroscopic techniques provide only average chromophore concentrations for the sampled volume,
and contain little information about the spatial chromophore distribution in the bruise. Hyperspectral imaging combines the power of imaging and spectroscopy, and can provide both spectroscopic and spatial information. In this study a hyperspectral imaging system developed by Norsk Elektro Optikk AS was used to measure the
temporal development of bruised skin in a human volunteer. The bruises were inflicted by paintball bullets. The wavelength ranges used were 400 - 1000 nm (VNIR) and 900 - 1700 nm (SWIR), and the spectral sampling intervals were 3.7 and 5 nm, respectively. Preliminary results show good spatial discrimination of the bruised
areas compared to normal skin. Development of a white spot can be seen in the central zone of the bruises. This central white zone was found to resemble the shape of the object hitting the skin, and is believed to develop in areas where the impact caused vessel damage. These results show that hyperspectral imaging is a promising
technique to evaluate the temporal and spatial development of bruises on human skin.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.