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Biomechanical Modeling of Wounded Skin

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, USA
Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(4), 69;
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
PDF [9585 KB, uploaded 14 December 2018]


Skin injury is the most common type of injury, which manifests itself in the form of wounds and cuts. A minor wound repairs itself within a short span of time. However, deep wounds require adequate care and sometime clinical interventions such as surgical suturing for their timely closure and healing. In literature, mechanical properties of skin and other tissues are well known. However, the anisotropic behavior of wounded skin has not been studied yet, specifically with respect to localized overstraining and possibilities of rupture. In the current work, the biomechanics of common skin wound geometries were studied with a biofidelic skin phantom, using uniaxial mechanical testing and Digital Image Correlation (DIC). Global and local mechanical properties were investigated, and possibilities of rupture due to localized overstraining were studied across different wound geometries and locations. Based on the experiments, a finite element (FE) model was developed for a common elliptical skin wound geometry. The fidelity of this FE model was evaluated with simulation of uniaxial tension tests. The induced strain distributions and stress-stretch responses of the FE model correlated very well with the experiments (R2 > 0.95). This model would be useful for prediction of the mechanical response of common wound geometries, especially with respect to their chances of rupture due to localized overstraining. This knowledge would be indispensable for pre-surgical planning, and also in robotic surgeries, for selection of appropriate wound closure techniques, which do not overstrain the skin tissue or initiate tearing. View Full-Text
Keywords: skin; wound; suture; surgery; finite element (FE); robotic skin; wound; suture; surgery; finite element (FE); robotic

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Chanda, A.; Upchurch, W. Biomechanical Modeling of Wounded Skin. J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2, 69.

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J. Compos. Sci. EISSN 2504-477X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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