MIRA University of Twente
Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Department of Biomechanical Engineering



The tribology of skin plays an important role in many daily activities. Typically, the tribological studies on skin are related to cosmetics and the effects of skin care products, sports and medical applications. The hydration content of skin is an important parameter which has a large influence on its friction behavior, which can be experienced during a sport activity on a warm day where sweat causes the t-shirt to ‘stick’ to the skin. This phenomena also plays an important role in the development of pressure ulcers.


Figure 1 Example of a grade III pressure ulcer

Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue, as a result of sustained pressure and shear. The shear is a result of the frictional forces between skin and supporting surface. Higher frictional forces result in higher (more damaging) shear stresses.


The objective of this project is to further extend an existing tribometer with a climate chamber and motor driver for controlling the movement of the load cell. Experiments are to be carried out on subjects in order to study the acclimation time of skin and the effects of skin hydration on the frictional behavior.


Literature study

Development climate chamber

Development motor driving system

Experiments on subjects

Analysis of the results


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