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J Biomech. 2011 Apr 7;44(6):1176-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.01.015.

In vitro indentation to determine the mechanical properties of epidermis.

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Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Oliemolenstraat 5, 9203 ZN Drachten, The Netherlands.


The lack of understanding of the mechanical behavior of the human skin layers makes the development of drug delivery using microneedles or microjets a challenging task. In particular, the key mechanical properties of the epidermis composed of stratum corneum and viable epidermis should be better understood. Micro-indentation experiments were applied, using a spherical tip with a large diameter to the sample thickness ratio. The Young's moduli were derived via an analytical and a numerical method. The tests showed that the analytical method was not appropriate to assess the Young's moduli. That is why a numerical model was used to obtain the correct stiffness. When loaded perpendicularly, the stiffness of both the epidermis and stratum corneum vary between 1 and 2MPa. No significant differences in stiffness between the stratum corneum and viable epidermis were observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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