Knowledge of the tribology of human skin is essential to improve and optimize surfaces and materials in contact with the skin. Besides that, friction between the human skin and textiles is a critical factor in the formation of skin injuries, which are caused if the loads and shear forces are high enough and/or over long periods of time. This factor is of particular importance in bedridden patients, since they are not moving about or are confined to wheelchairs. Decubitus ulcers are one of the most frequently-reported iatrogenic injuries in developed countries. The risk of developing decubitus ulcers can be predicted by using the “Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk” that was developed in 1987 and contains six areas of risk (cognitive-perceptual, immobility, inactivity, moisture, nutrition, friction/shear), although there are limitations to the use of such tools. The coefficient of friction of textiles against skin is mainly influenced by: the nature of the textile, skin moisture content and ambient humidity. This study will investigate how skin friction (different anatomical regions) varies, rubbing against different types of contacting materials (i.e.
, fabrics for medical use) under different contact conditions and their relationship in the formation and prevention of decubitus ulcers.
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