Biomechanical analysis of decellularized dermis and skin: Initial in vivo observations using optical cohesion tomography and vibrational analysis

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2018 May;106(5):1421-1427. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.36344. Epub 2018 Feb 8.


Measurement of the mechanical properties of skin in vivo has been complicated by the lack of methods that can accurately measure the viscoelastic properties without assuming values of Poisson's ratio and tissue density. In this paper, we present the results of preliminary studies comparing the mechanical properties of skin and scar tissue measured using a technique involving optical cohesion tomography (OCT) and vibrational analysis. This technique has been reported to give values of the modulus that correlate with those obtained from tensile measurements made on decellularized dermis (Shah et al., Skin Res Technol 2016;23:399-406; Shah et al., J Biomed Mater Res Part 2017;105:15-22). The high correlation between moduli measured using vibrational studies and uniaxial tensile tests suggest that the modulus can be determined by measuring the natural frequency that occurs when a tissue is vibrated in tension. The results of studies on glutaric anhydride treated decellularized dermis suggest that vibrational analysis is a useful technique to look at changes in the properties of skin that occur after cosmetic and surgical treatments are used. Preliminary results suggest that the resonant frequency of scar tissue is much higher than that of adjacent normal skin reflecting the higher collagen content of scar. OCT in concert with vibrational analysis appears to be a useful tool to evaluate processes that alter skin properties in animals and humans as well to study the onset and pathogenesis of skin diseases such as cancer. This technique may be useful to evaluate the extent of wound healing in skin diabetic ulcers and other chronic skin conditions, scar tissue formation in response to implants, and other therapeutic treatments that alter skin properties. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 106A: 1421-1427, 2018.

Keywords: collagen; dermis; extracellular matrix; mechanical properties; modulus; optical coherence elastography; optical coherence tomography; scar; skin; tissue; vibrational analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Dermis / physiology*
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Humans
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Swine
  • Tensile Strength
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Vibration*


  • Collagen