Biomechanics of Human Skin



Biomechanics of Human Skin: Predicting Skin Damage and the Effects of Treatment

Prof. Reinhold H. Dauskardt
Dept of Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University


The outermost layer of skin, the stratum corneum (SC), provides mechanical protection and a controlled permeable barrier to the external environment while subject to highly variable conditions including changing temperature, humidity, mechanical and abrasive contact. The biomechanical properties of the SC are crucial for its mechanical and biophysical function, its cosmetic “feel” and appearance, and play a central role in skin damage processes of skin chapping and cracking.
We describe a thin-film mechanics approach to characterize and model the biomechanical function of human SC. Techniques involving both in-plane and out-of-plane mechanical and intercellular delamination characterization are described. We demonstrate how environmental, enzymatic, moisturizing and chemical treatments that influence components of the SC tissue can dramatically affect resulting mechanical properties and biomechanical function. Treatments were selected to systematically manipulate intercellular lipids, corneodesmosomes and intracellular keratin. In addition to stress-strain and viscoelastic properties, we describe novel thin-film methods to probe the resistance to time dependent intercellular delamination and the stresses that arise naturally in SC as a result of treatment or environmental conditions.
We finally demonstrate how damage processes in human skin can be quantitatively modeled and predicted based on thin-film biomechanics and cracking processes. We believe that this represents a new approach to characterize and model the fundamental biomechanics of human SC.




Tuesday, May 20


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park
2960 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA  94043
Directions  Map


6 PM social hour 
7 PM dinner 
8 PM lecture


$30 with advance registration 
Half price for students, retired, and unemployed. (late fee still applies, if applicable) 
Free if you attend just the lecture at 8PM. (but please let us know for headcount)
$40 after registration deadline, if possible -- please contact us to inquire.


we accept cash or checks, but are unable to accept payment by credit card at this time. You may pay at the door.


Please register on the web page  or contact:
    Syed Askari
    phone    650-864-5429

Deadline for registration:

5 PM, Monday May 19

Dinner Selections:

broiled salmon with a lemon buerre blanc
chicken florentine
eggplant parmesan

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

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