Mechanics of Decubitus Ulcers in Human Skin

Save favourite 24 Mar March 2016

This project is aiming at developing mechanistic understanding of how skin cells physically interact with each other and with environment, and how the skin breakdown proceeds under special conditions.

Decubitus ulcer, often called pressure ulcer, develops when an individual with limited mobility stays in the same position for a prolonged period of time, such as in care facilities. It is the most serious skin health problem, and is becoming a silent epidemic in many developed countries, as the ageing population grows exponentially. This is also the place where incontinent products could play a positive role either for preventing or healing the problem. In spite of the considerable clinical experiences accumulated, surprisingly very little is known about how this skin breakdown actually proceeds and its mechanical-biological causes.

This project is aiming at developing mechanistic understanding of how skin cells physically interact with each other and with environment, and how the skin breakdown proceeds under special conditions. As the skin has a unique structure (cellular structure) and unique mechanical properties (both solids- and fluids-like), we use state-of-the-art, particle-based methods to analyse complex mechanical responses of skin, particularly on the cell level.

The fundamental knowledge gained from this project will serve as a basis for guidelines for care professionals to early identify and prevent pressure ulcers, but also for developing various types of products that would contribute to skin care and skin health.

Research Goals and Objectives

  • Develop the fundamental understanding of how the skin breakdown proceeds as a function of external stresses both on the system level and the cell level.
  • Find the ways to prevent the skin breakdown based on the above understanding, which includes the design/redesign of incontinent products.
  • Develop computational tools which are user-friendly and robust to deal with different patients and different circumstances.

Researchers in the area

Financier

Bo Rydin Foundation