An in vitro biomechanical comparison of human dermis to a silicone biosimulant material

I. D. Wing, H. A. Conner, P. J. Biermann, Stephen M Belkoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A major quality of life concern for designers of prosthetics is the look and feel of the limb. Even up close, the limb should look and feel natural. This means covering the underlying mechanical components with a "cosmesis" . This cosmesis should match the skin tone of the patient and the material from which it is constructed should have similar mechanical properties to human skin. The objective of this study was to compare a candidate biosimulant material to cadaveric skin. Skin specimens were harvested from three donors furnished by the Maryland State Anatomy Board. In daily use, the cosmesis material would often be compressed against the hard backing of the case. Thus, to compare the two materials, indentors with eight different tip geometries were driven into samples supported by a flat metal plate. 1.5" square samples were compressed to 40% of their initial thickness at a rate of 0.1 mm/sec using a servohydraulic test machine. Force versus deflection curves were automatically reduced to stiffness and elastic modulus values for each trial using a custom MATLAB algorithm. Results of this study showed that the surrogate material was significantly more compliant than human skin (ANOVA, p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIFMBE Proceedings
Number of pages4
Volume32 IFMBE
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event26th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference, SBEC 2010 - College Park, MD, United States
Duration: Apr 30 2010May 2 2010


Other26th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference, SBEC 2010
CountryUnited States
CityCollege Park, MD



  • biomechanical testing
  • biosimulant
  • compressive modulus
  • prosthetics
  • skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering

Cite this

Wing, I. D., Conner, H. A., Biermann, P. J., & Belkoff, S. M. (2010). An in vitro biomechanical comparison of human dermis to a silicone biosimulant material. In IFMBE Proceedings (Vol. 32 IFMBE, pp. 274-277)