Mechanical characterization of human skin—A non-invasive digital twin approach using vibration-response integrated with numerical methods

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Medical Engineering & Physics


This paper proposes an innovative approach to identify elastic material properties and mass density of soft tissues based on interpreting their mechanical vibration response, externally excited by a mechanical indenter or acoustic waves. A vibration test is performed on soft sheets to measure their response to a continuous range of excitation frequencies. The frequency responses are collected with a pair of high-speed cameras in conjunction with 3-D digital image correlation (DIC). Two cases are considered, including suspended/fully-free rectangular neoprene sheets as artificial tissue cutout samples and continuous layered human skin vibrations. An efficient theoretical model is developed to analytically simulate the free vibrations of the neoprene artificial sheet samples as well as the continuous layered human skins. The high accuracy and validity of the presented analytical simulations are demonstrated through comparison with the DIC measurements and the conducted frequency tests, as well as a number of finite element (FE) modeling. The developed analytical approach is implemented into a numerical algorithm to perform an inverse calculation of the soft sheets' elastic properties using the imported experimental vibration results and the predicted system's mass via the system equivalent reduction/expansion process (SEREP) method. It is shown that the proposed frequency-dependent inverse approach is capable of rapidly predicting the material properties of the tested samples with high accuracy.







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