Measurement of mechanical properties in aging skin [abstract]
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Several molecular and structural changes, occurring as a result of intrinsic change and extrinsic damage, are seen in aging skin. The most pronounced transformations seen are vascular atrophy, decreased collagen and elastic fiber content, loss of hydration, as well as a disordered dermal matrix. Currently, it is difficult to easily quantify the physical changes of skin seen in aging. Collagen, elastic fibers, and mucopolysaccharides are the molecular components that define the biomechanical properties of skin. Elasticity, viscoelasticity and extensibility are variables used to determine the biomechanical properties of skin. Elasticity describes the stiffness of a material and is measured by calculating the Young's modulus. The research objective is to develop a medical device that uses applied vacuum and digital imaging correlation to evaluate skin elasticity seen with aging.