Mechanical engineers solve a human skin puzzle

02/26/2013 | (U.K.)

A 150-year-old puzzle about why human skin forms certain patterns when punctured has been solved by mechanical engineers from Ireland's University College Dublin. Using a microscope and CCD camera, the engineers found that it's the collagen fibers in the skin that influences the shape of puncture wounds, although that shape can vary according to the age of the skin. The engineers hope their work will "provide new material data for human skin which can be applied to constitutive models in a number of technical areas such as razor blade manufacture, cosmetics, surgical simulation, forensic pathology and impact biomechanics."

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