Mechanics of the Ageing Skin

Despite its prominent role as a biophysical interface between the body internal and external environments, the skin remains the subject of much needed research efforts aiming to elucidate the complex processes underlying its physiology and biophysics in health, disease, trauma and ageing. Of particular significance are the effects of both intrinsic and extrinsic ageing on the microstructural constituents of skin (e.g. alteration of collagen and elastin networks), and how their evolution is translated into altered macroscopic mechanical properties of the tissue. These properties are critical in conditioning mechanical interactions of elderly skin with the external environment. In this talk, mathematical and computational micromechanical models of skin ageing will be presented and it will be shown how micromechanical mechanisms associated with evolution of collagen and elastin mechanics can explain observed macroscopic properties of the skin.