Blood spatter pattern analysis

The MathsWorks Project has a series of laboratory projects on different aspects of Maths in Biotechnology. One of the projects is about blood spatter pattern analysis and has a very usable practical using milk to calibrate the relationship between drop stain shape and angle of surface.

There is also a good treatment of the mathematical assumptions made when you estimate the angle of the blood drop trajectory from the shape of the stain.

The practical I am thinking of using to allow students to practice their error analysis and to use some trigonometry in a ‘real’ context is based on dropping mock blood drops onto an inclined surface and analysing the ratio of the elliptical drop shapes to the angle of the surface. Suggestions for mock blood so far include…

  • Milk with treacle or Golden Syrup added at the rate of two table spoons full of syrup to 1 mug of milk – the milk needs warming while the treacle is dissolved
  • Cold Heinz Tomato soup

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