Research Papers

Thermally-Induced Change in the Relaxation Behavior of Skin Tissue

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Xu, K. A. Seffen

Department of Engineering, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK

T. J. Lu1

MOE Key Laboratory of Strength and Vibration, School of Aerospace, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, P.R.C.tjlu@mail.xjtu.edu.cn


Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 131(7), 071001 (Jun 05, 2009) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3118766 History: Received February 26, 2008; Revised January 18, 2009; Published June 05, 2009

Skin biothermomechanics is highly interdisciplinary, involving bioheat transfer, burn damage, biomechanics, and physiology. Characterization of the thermomechanical behavior of skin tissue is of great importance and can contribute to a variety of medical applications. However, few quantitative studies have been conducted on the thermally-dependent mechanical properties of skin tissue. The aim of the present study is to experimentally examine the thermally-induced change in the relaxation behavior of skin tissue in both hyperthermal and hypothermic ranges. The results show that temperature has great influence on the stress-relaxation behavior of skin tissue under both hyperthermal and hypothermic temperatures; the quantitative relationship that has been found between temperature and the viscoelastic parameter (the elastic fraction or fractional energy dissipation) was temperature dependent, with greatest dissipation at high temperature levels.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Effect of activation energy Ea on thermal damage process rate k

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Figure 2

Location of sampling

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Figure 3

Schematic of the hydrothermal tensile experimental system

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Figure 4

Heat transfer analysis of thermal loading; centerline temperature of the skin sample reaches the targeted temperature very quickly as compared with the duration of the tests

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Figure 5

DSC results of pig ear skin: (a) characteristic DSC thermogram and (b) plot of ln(r/Tmax2) versus 1/Tmax

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Figure 6

Comparison of the uniaxial tensile behavior of pig ear skin measured at T=37°C with reported data on human chest skin (69) and cat back skin (70)

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Figure 7

Representative uniaxial tensile stress-relaxation response of pig ear skin tissue

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Figure 8

The normalized relaxation function g(t)=σt/σtR under different hypothermic and hyperthermal temperatures

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Figure 9

The effect of temperature on the elastic fraction fracE=g(∞)=σ∞/σtR for skin tissue

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Figure 10

Thermal damage degree due to temperature increase




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