Auckland Bioengineering Institute



Skin is the largest and most visible organ of the human body. It provides the first line of defence to the environment and plays a vital role in the body’s overall mechanical integrity. The mechanical behaviour of skin is highly nonlinear (it exhibits a J-shaped stress-strain response with a well-defined upper strain limit), anisotropic (maximum strain is reduced along the Langer’s lines compared to the transverse direction), and inhomogeneous (it varies significantly over different parts of the body).

Surprisingly little work, however, has been done on the in-vivo mechanical properties of skin, despite strong indications that such properties are critically influenced by the health of the tissue. The aim of this project is to identify (using novel instrumentation and modelling techniques) the dynamic mechanical properties of skin in-vivo over the entire human body.

Project linkages

  • Analysis of the mechanics of the knee joint (NERF) Musculoskeletal Modelling Group
  • Female reproductive system: modelling the deformation of the human breast (Professor Michael Brady, University of Oxford and Mirada Solutions Ltd);
  • Analysis of scar tissue and skin healing.

Group members



Funding partners

The project gratefully acknowledges the support of its funding partners: