Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



The objectives of this project are to design, construct, validate and test a low-cost, non-invasive and painless device to measure skin tension. Skin is a complex, multi-layered, anisotropic material with non-linear viscoelastic behavior during stress application. The intricate balance of different semi-elastic fibers and continuous regeneration has brought difficulty to the accurate measurement of its mechanical properties. Commercial skin tension measurement products have been described, but are too expensive to be readily accessible for skin research and clinical utilization. The device to be developed in this project differs from existing devices in that it measures skin deformation under vacuum using a non-invasive, low power, reflective light sensor. The results in this report show that this “Cutisfirm” skin tension measurement system is an effective product for measuring dynamic mechanical properties of skin. The Cutisfirm device was able to measure quantified changes in skin and artificial skin models within the 95% tolerance level of ±0.139cm and up to 1.875cm/sec movement velocities. Results show changes in dorsal hand skin measured in vivo between open and closed fisted positions as a function of gender and age in a diverse population subset. The Cutisfirm skin tension measurement system could be a potential candidate for a mass-produced, affordable device option for general clinical use.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Monroe, William Todd



Included in

Engineering Commons