Seminar 14th July 2010 4 p.m. Lanchester (Building 7) Room 3027, Highfield, University of Southampton
The Importance of Modelling and Understanding Skin Tribology
nCATS, SES, University of Southampton
Human skin is a multilayered composite material and is the largest organ in the body covering approximately 2m^2 [1, 2]. It is a sensory interface that acts as a barrier between the body and the external environment, maintaining an internal milieu whilst providing protection from unfavourable external mechanical, chemical, biological, and thermal [1, 3] stimuli. Under certain conditions, for instance shear forces , skin can break down and friction blisters may form. Although most incidences of friction blisters heal without treatment, over time, some can develop into a significant disability. This results in mobility limitations that would hinder exercise training programmes and could create potentially life threatening situations in a military environment . By computationally modelling and understanding the formation of friction blisters it is aimed that strategies for blister prevention, through materials or devices, will be improved. Since skin has many variables that affect the mechanical properties , computational modelling allows for flexibility in varying parameters. Hence, the constitutive modelling of the chemo-mechano-biology of skin, focusing on the formation of friction blisters, is the focus of this research. The hypothesis is that skin is assumed to be poroelastic and isotropic. Using Darcy’s law and equations for poroelasticity a basic model for the solid, fluid and solid to fluid coupling can be ascertained. Current models require material properties for which values are available through literature review but experimental measurements are required for continuity; literature values vary considerably due to the use of different methods and skin samples. Ultimately this study aims to extend the model for anisotropic materials, and future work will attempt to indentify the link between friction and clinically acquired blisters. Blister formation is currently a little understood topic, and research in collaboration with tribologists will be of benefit across a broad range of applications.
Skalak, R. and S. Chien, Anatomy of the Human Body. 20th Edition ed. 1918: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Silver, F.H., L.M. Siperko, and G.P. Seehra, Review: Mechanobiology of force transduction in dermal tissue. Skin Research and Technology, 2003. 9(1): p. 3-23.
Kvistedal, Y.A., Multiaxial In-Vivo Testing of Human Skin, in Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland: New Zealand.
Giordano, C.P., et al., Fracture Blister Formation: A Laboratory Study. The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care, 1995. 38(6): p. 907-909.
Levy, P.D., et al., A Prospective Analysis of the Treatment of Friction Blisters with 2-Octylcyanoacrylate. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 2006. 96(3): p. 232-237.
Diaz, L.A. and G.J. Giudice, End of the century overview of skin blisters. Arch Dermatol, 2000. 136(1): p. 106-12.
Refreshments will be provided, please bring your own mug if possible.
Dr. Richard Cook
national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)
School of Engineering Sciences
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ