Despite being one of the most important organs of vertebrates, the material properties of skin are also one of the most poorly understood. In the field of designing medical devices and surgical tools there are significant advantages to having a model that describes the interaction of forces between a blade tip and skin during surgical cutting. In general, skin can best be described as a composite layer consisting of a viscoelastic dermis with interwoven collagen and elastin fibers beneath a superficial epidermis. The purpose of this research is to study the fracture toughness of porcine skin during practical cutting applications, the behavior of skin under quasistatic loads, and viscoelastic behavior of skin during stress relaxation. To fully describe the mechanics of skin in this model tensile test are conducted to determine the material properties of skin. The fracture toughness of the material is calculated by measuring the energy release rate of the material during required during cutting with Number 11 scalpel blade with a tip radius of 12 [micro]m . These results are then compared to a finite element analysis with a debonding interface and a Mooney-Rivlin hyperelastic material model with viscoelastic relaxation in an effort to predict the loads required by tools during surgical applications. The main outcome of this research is the development of a testing protocol and material model of skin that can be used in finite element simulations of uniaxial loads and surgical cutting.
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Gordon, Ali P.
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Smith, Kevin, "Fracture Toughness of a Hyperelastic Material During Surgical Cutting" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1543.