Technical Brief

Transepidermal Potential of the Stretched Skin

[+] Author and Article Information
Yuina Abe

Department of Finemechanics,
Graduate School of Engineering,
Tohoku University,
6-6-01 Aramaki Aoba,
Sendai 980-8579, Japan
e-mail: abe@biomems.mech.tohoku.ac.jp

Hajime Konno

Department of Finemechanics,
Graduate School of Engineering,
Tohoku University,
6-6-01 Aramaki Aoba,
Sendai 980-8579, Japan
e-mail: konno@biomems.mech.tohoku.ac.jp

Shotaro Yoshida

Department of Finemechanics,
Graduate School of Engineering,
Tohoku University,
6-6-01 Aramaki Aoba,
Sendai 980-8579, Japan
e-mail: yoshida@biomems.mech.tohoku.ac.jp

Matsuhiko Nishizawa

Department of Finemechanics,
Graduate School of Engineering,
Tohoku University,
6-6-01 Aramaki Aoba,
Sendai 980-8579, Japan
e-mail: nishizawa@biomems.mech.tohoku.ac.jp

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 20, 2018; final manuscript received April 10, 2019; published online May 6, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Beth A. Winkelstein.

J Biomech Eng 141(8), 084503 (May 06, 2019) (4 pages) Paper No: BIO-18-1545; doi: 10.1115/1.4043522 History: Received December 20, 2018; Revised April 10, 2019

The electrical response of the skin to mechanical stretches is reported here. The electrical potential difference across the epidermis, i.e., transepidermal potential (TEP) of porcine skin samples subjected to cyclic stretching, was measured in real time to observe electrochemical change in epidermal tissue. In addition to a conventional method of TEP measurement for the whole of skin sample, a probe-type system with a fine-needle salt bridge was used for direct measurement of TEP at a targeted local point of the skin. TEP decreased with the increased mechanical stretches, and the change of TEP was found to be mostly occurred in the epidermis but not dermis nor hypodermis by comparing the results of conventional and the probe-type methods. The observed change of TEP value was quick, reversible, and strain-dependent. Considering from such characteristic behaviors, one of the possible mechanisms of the modulation of TEP would be influence of the streaming potential caused by the fluid flow during the physical deformation of the epidermis.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Topics: Skin , Probes , needles
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic diagrams and photographs of TEP measurement systems used in combination with a skin stretching device. (a) Conventional system used to measure the potential difference between the top surface of the skin sample and its base (dermis) immersed in a saline solution. (b) The fine needle-based probe-type system to directly measure the potential difference across epidermis at a targeted local point of the skin.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

TEP values measured with the conventional system for porcine skin samples (untreated control (top), sodium azide-treated (middle), and epidermis-removed (bottom) (n = 6–7 for each, p value was calculated by t-test). (a) Illustrations for each sample preparation. (b) The original TEP without stretch. The potential between the surface of the skin and the subepidermal reference were measured. (c) Representatives of typical changes in TEP of the samples during sequential applications of stretches of 15–60% strain. Different colors correspond to different treatments in (a). (d) Relationship between the degrees of strain and changes of TEP. Error bars are standard deviation (n = 6–7). (e) Representatives of the change in TEP of the untreated group during successive stretches at 15%, 30%, and 45% strain.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

TEP measured by the fine needle-based system. (a) Illustration for measuring system. (b) Typical changes in TEP of the skin sample during the sequential applications of stretches of 15–60% strain, measured by the fine needle-based probe-type system.



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