Many Tribology Group publications are Open Access thanks to funding from the EPSRC.


BibTex format

author = {Jobanputra, R and Boyle, C and Dini, D and Masen, M},
doi = {10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.104073},
journal = {Journal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials},
pages = {1--10},
title = {Modelling the effects of age-related morphological and mechanical skin changes on the stimulation of tactile mechanoreceptors},
url = {},
volume = {112},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Our sense of fine touch deteriorates as we age, a phenomenon typically associated with neurological changes to the skin. However, geometric and material changes to the skin may also play an important role on tactile perception and have not been studied in detail. Here, a finite element model is utilised to assess the extent to which age-related structural changes to the skin influence the tactile stimuli experienced by the mechanoreceptors. A numerical, hyperelastic, four-layered skin model was developed to simulate sliding of the finger against a rigid surface. The strain, deviatoric stress and strain energy density were recorded at the sites of the Merkel and Meissner receptors, whilst parameters of the model were systematically varied to simulate age-related geometric and material skin changes. The simulations comprise changes in skin layer stiffness, flattening of the dermal-epidermal junction and thinning of the dermis. It was found that the stiffness of the skin layers has a substantial effect on the stimulus magnitudes recorded at mechanoreceptors. Additionally, reducing the thickness of the dermis has a substantial effect on the Merkel disc whilst the Meissner corpuscle is particularly affected by flattening of the dermal epidermal junction. In order to represent aged skin, a model comprising a combination of ageing manifestations revealed a decrease in stimulus magnitudes at both mechanoreceptor sites. The result from the combined model differed from the sum of effects of the individually tested ageing manifestations, indicating that the individual effects of ageing cannot be linearly superimposed. Each manifestation of ageing results in a decreased stimulation intensity at the Meissner Corpuscle site, suggesting that ageing reduces the proportion of stimuli meeting the receptor amplitude detection threshold. This model therefore offers an additional biomechanical explanation for tactile perceptive degradation amongst the elderly. Applications of the develo
AU - Jobanputra,R
AU - Boyle,C
AU - Dini,D
AU - Masen,M
DO - 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.104073
EP - 10
PY - 2020///
SN - 1751-6161
SP - 1
TI - Modelling the effects of age-related morphological and mechanical skin changes on the stimulation of tactile mechanoreceptors
T2 - Journal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 112
ER -