May 27-30, 2014, Montreal, Canada
Skin is a complex, multi-layered material which exhibits non-linear, anisotropic and viscoelastic
behaviour. Its structure is complex and can be broadly divided into three main layers: the
epidermis, the dermis and hypodermis. The thickest of these layers, the dermis, consists of
strong stiff collagen fibres which govern many of the mechanical properties of human skin.
The mechanical properties of skin are important for a number of applications including surgery,
dermatology, impact biomechanics and forensic science. Many studies in the literature use
human skin substitutes such as pigskin or silicone, and in vitro tests on human skin are
particularly rare. The objective of this study is to determine the strain rate effects on the failure characteristics of
excised human skin considering both the rate dependency and anisotropic nature of skin.