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Health & Food

NIMBLE - improving skin care through mechanical characterization

An ultra-​light suction device for improved skin characterization

Skin is our largest organ and it fulfils many important functions to keep our entire body healthy. It’s appearance and consistency influence our interactions with the outside world. These specific characteristics experience potential changes when skin diseases, such as scarring or skin fibrosis, lead to alterations in the skin’s microstructure. Objective and reliable quantification of such microstructural alterations could improve early detection of skin diseases and enhance evidence-​based development of therapeutics. However, clinical assessment still involves subjective palpation methods, due to the lack of a sensitive and easy to use objective measurement tool.
Our solution is a novel ultra-​lightweight suction device for the objective characterization of in-​vivo skin biomechanics. In a series of preliminary clinical studies, our device was able to outperform existing tools in the discrimination of diseased tissue from healthy skin and it showed potential for the early detection of microstructural changes. We present the first available solution that bridges the gap between a reliable and sensitive measurement tool and an easy and unlimited application.
The increased sensitivity of the device and the small and light-​weight design show high potential to be used as a diagnostic tool for early detection of skin diseases, as well as to test the effect of skin care products in cosmetic industry.

Contact

NIMBLE Bettina Müllermuellebe@ethz.ch