Surrogates, which precisely simulate nonlinear mechanical properties of the human skin at different body sites, would be indispensable for biomechanical testing applications, such as estimating the accurate load response of skin implants and prosthetics to study the biomechanics of static and dynamic loading conditions on the skin, dermatological and sports injuries, and estimating the dynamic load response of lethal and nonlethal ballistics. To date, human skin surrogates have been developed mainly with materials, such as gelatin and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), based on assumption of simplified mechanical properties, such as an average elastic modulus (estimated through indentation tests), and Poisson’s ratio. In addition, pigskin and cowhides, which have widely varying mechanical properties, have been used to simulate human skin. In the current work, a novel elastomer-based material system is developed, which precisely mimics the nonlinear stress–stretch behavior, elastic modulus at high and low strains, and fracture strengths of the natural human skin at different body sites. The manufacturing and fabrication process of these skin surrogates are discussed, and mechanical testing results are presented.
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