Yan, Jin


Laflamme, Simon


Zellner, Eric


Downey, Austin


Rivero, Iris


Document Type



Background Suture materials and techniques are frequently evaluated in ex vivo studies by comparing tensile strengths. However, the direct measurement techniques to obtain the tensile forces in canine skin are not available, and, therefore, the conditions suture lines undergo is unknown. A soft elastomeric capacitor is used to monitor deformation in the skin over time by sensing strain. This sensor was applied to a sample of canine skin to evaluate its capacity to sense strain in the sample while loaded in a dynamic material testing machine. The measured strain of the sensor was compared with the strain measured by the dynamic testing machine. The sample of skin was evaluated with and without the sensor adhered.

Results In this study, the soft elastomeric capacitor was able to measure strain and a correlation was made to stress using a modified Kelvin-Voigt model for the canine skin sample. The sensor significantly increases the stiffness of canine skin when applied which required the derivation of mechanical models for interpretation of the results.

Conclusions Flexible sensors can be applied to canine skin to investigate the inherent biomechanical properties. These sensors need to be lightweight and highly elastic to avoid interference with the stress across a suture line. The sensor studied here serves as a prototype for future sensor development and has demonstrated that a lightweight highly elastic sensor is needed to decrease the effect on the sensor/skin construct. Further studies are required for biomechanical characterization of canine skin.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

APA Citation

Downey, A. R. J., Yan, J., Zellner, E. M., Kraus, K. H., Rivero, I. V., & Laflamme, S. (2019). Use of Flexible Sensor to Characterize Biomechanics of Canine Skin. BMC Veterinary Research, 15(1), 40