Bachelor End Project of Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology

Measuring shear stress


Pressure ulcers are localized injuries to the skin and/or the underlying tissue as a result of pressure in combination with shear or friction. It has long been established that shear forces working at the interface between skin and supporting surface are an important risk factor in the development of pressure ulcers. To prevent the development of pressure ulcers it is essential to quantify the amount of shear stress in normal physiological conditions (e.g. while seating).

In another study we have quantified the mechanical properties of human skin at large shear deformations and modeled the mechanical response. However there is no clarity yet on what the amount of shear stress is normal physiological conditions. The aim of this project therefore is to develop and setup a method to quantify the shear stress under these circumstances. The results of this study will be used to prevent pressure ulcer development by optimizing the interaction between skin and its supporting surface, such as prosthetic liners and healthcare devices.