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Red Trace of Evidence: Blood Images Can Talk
Ecchymosis Imaging System

"The victim shows no apparent trauma, but actually has skin bleeding." In social cases like this where evidence can be hard to find, how can victims receive justice as provided by law? Instrument Technology Research Center (ITRC) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) has successfully developed "Ecchymosis Imaging System." Testified by internationally renowned forensics expert Henry Lee, the system performs a complete and comprehensive identification of ecchymosis that is invisible in early stage of injury. It is the best tool built for criminal forensics in Taiwan that helps guard the rights and interests of the general public.

A Complete Ecchymosis Detection Technology Is Established to Make Up the Window of Ecchymosis Detection

Ecchymosis is a manifestation of disease or physical injury in the human body. The most common physical injuries are generally associated with external collisions such as car accidents, falling, and impact with blunt objects. Based on the severity degree and area of injury, ecchymosis can be categorized as apparent, visible skin bleeding caused by rupture of large amount of blood vessels, unapparent skin bleeding caused by tissue injury and blood fluid extravasation, and hidden skin bleeding caused by the slow coagulation following broken capillaries. The toughest situation in social cases is that: after the victim has been injured by an external force, there is no apparent trauma or trauma during the initial injury examination, and the signs of injury do not emerge until after a period of time. During this window of injury examination, the forensic professional cannot determine the validation of the evidence. It is currently a big technical gap in injury determination test.

In lieu of this situation, ITRC of NARLabs has developed the first "Ecchymosis Imaging System" in the world to solve the problem. When there is a skin bleeding, the skin oxygen saturation changes. Human skin is irradiated by red and infrared light, and through complex algorithm, the distribution of skin oxygen saturation can be obtained. This distribution directly reflects the oxygenation and hypoxia of skin tissue. Using this "Oxygen Saturation Distribution Image," the degree and range of subcutaneous damage can be understood. With this technology, ITRC observes the oxygen saturation of human skin over time after a collision with an external force, and proves that this technology can effectively observe the aforementioned injury examination window. With that, ITRC successfully found the last piece of puzzle in obtaining evidence for injuries with ecchymosis.

Ecchymosis Imaging System Activates a Whole Realm of Forensic Evidence Gathering

Technologically, ITRC broke through the current bottleneck, that oxygen saturation detection only provide information of a single point, and developed a skin oxygen saturation distribution imaging for a large surface area (as much as 8cm x 8cm). The sensitivity and applicability of the system is extremely high. Users can quickly know the status of bleeding within skin by reading the color gradations. In addition, this technology is not limited to ecchymosis. It can also measure the changes of blood oxygen saturation with in vitro blood and determine the timespan it has left body, which can help determine the time of injury and serve as important evidence.

The technology of "Ecchymosis Imaging System" was developed by ITRC while the product was realized through the engineering of our partner, Lumos Technology Co., Ltd. This instrument succeeds the result of Fluorescence Imaging System ITRC and Lumos cooperated on previously. The system has already been adopted by the Police of United States in forensics. From this year, ITRC will begin partnership with internationally renowned forensics expert Henry Lee, explore the measurement of various biological evidences, and anticipate their wide adaptations in criminal forensics in the future.

2016/6/22 updated