Modeling the Mechanical Response of In Vivo Human Skin Under a Rich Set of Deformations

Cormac Flynn, Andrew Taberner, Poul Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Determining the mechanical properties of an individual's skin is important in the fields of pathology, biomedical device design, and plastic surgery. To address this need, we present a finite element model that simulates the skin of the anterior forearm and posterior upper arm under a rich set of three-dimensional deformations. We investigated the suitability of the Ogden and Tong and Fung strain energy functions along with a quasi-linear viscoelastic law. Using non-linear optimization techniques, we found material parameters and in vivo pre-stresses for different volunteers. The model simulated the experiments with errors-of-fit ranging from 13.7 to 21.5%. Pre-stresses ranging from 28 to 92 kPa were estimated. We show that using only in-plane experimental data in the parameter optimization results in a poor prediction of the out-of-plane response. The identifiability of the model parameters, which are evaluated using different determinability criteria, improves by increasing the number of deformation orientations in the experiments. © 2011 Biomedical Engineering Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1935-1946
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 11 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science, and Technology, through grants NERF 139400 and NERF 9077/3608892. This publication is also based on work supported in part by Award No KUK-C1-013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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