Linear viscoelastic and microstructural properties of native male human skin and in vitro 3D reconstructed skin models

Deepika Malhotra, Sharadwata Pan, Lars Rüther, Thomas B. Goudoulas, Gerrit Schlippe, Werner Voss, Natalie Germann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The study reports first ever account of measurements of linear viscoelastic moduli under small amplitude oscillatory shear deformations, for commercially available juvenile and aged in vitro 3D reconstructed skin models. The results were compared with those of native male whole human and dermis-only foreskin samples, catering to a wide age group from 0.5 to 68 years, including samples from a 23-year-old male abdomen. In the strain sweep tests, the dermis of the juvenile/young age group assumed a higher intrinsic elastic modulus than the whole skin. A reverse qualitative trend was noted for the adult/aged age group. Confirmed by the histological examination of the stained cross-sections, this is attributed to the nascent epidermal differentiation and the high fiber density of dermal collagen. The oscillation frequency sweeps exposed a greater dependence of the elasticity on the frequency for the native male dermis foreskin samples as compared to the whole skins, irrespective of age. This is anticipated since the extremely structured epidermis confers higher resistance to the whole skins towards intracycle deformations compared to the dermis, thereby storing smaller elastic energy. The 3D skin models examined in this work exhibited a broader linear viscoelastic region, a larger viscoelasticity, and much higher dynamic moduli, compared to the native skin. The rheological trends are a significant addition to the literature and may be used as a reference for the design of next generation of scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-654
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • 3D skin models
  • Dermis
  • Human skin
  • Linear viscoelasticity
  • Microstructure
  • Whole skin


Dive into the research topics of 'Linear viscoelastic and microstructural properties of native male human skin and in vitro 3D reconstructed skin models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this