Capturing the Age-Dependent Properties of Human Skin Using Variable Stiffness “Smart” Skins
Throughout history, medical advancements have progressed in multiple areas. One of the more impactful areas is that of artificial skin. Whether it will be used for burn victims, prosthetic limbs, or medical training devices, current artificial skins do not take into account the variability of mechanical properties between individual humans as well as age-dependent property changes of human skin. Despite multiple in vivo human tests that illustrate the relationship between age and the stiffness of the skin, there has been little development in artificial skins based on these properties The purpose of this research is to fill this gap through fabricating variable stiffness artificial skin samples and experimentally characterizing them with indentation testing, the same methodology that was used to find the human skin stiffness variance. The skin samples will be fabricated with various base polymer resins (such as silicon and hydrogels) and filler particles (magnetic powders). Using a precision testing machine, indentation testing will be performed to characterize the mechanical properties of the samples under various field strengths, magnetic particle concentration, sample construction, and other variable conditions, such as indentation speed.