A new method to evaluate the effects of shear on the skin
Currently, pressure ulcer preventive strategies focus mainly on pressure redistribution. Little attention is paid to reduce the harmful effects of shear-force, because little is known about pathophysiological aspects of shear-force. Even today, no method to measure the effects of shear-force on the skin is available. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the response to shear-forces in terms of analyzing a noninvasive biomarker and reactive hyperemic parameter measured at the skin of healthy participants. A physical model was developed to produce a combination of pressure and shear or pressure alone on the skin. Ten healthy male participants were included and pressure (3.9 kPa) and a combined loading of pressure and shear (2.4 kPa + 14.5 N) was applied at the volar aspect of the forearms for 15 and 30 minutes. A Sebutape sample was used to collect IL-1α and total protein (TP) noninvasively. The reactive hyperemic parameter was derived from a laser Doppler flowmeter. The increase in IL-1α/TP-ratio after a combined loading of pressure and shear for 30 minutes of 6.2 ± 2.5 was significantly higher compared with all other test conditions (p < 0.05). The increase in cutaneous blood cell flux was already significantly higher when a combined loading of pressure and shear was applied for 15 minutes compared with pressure alone. These results shows that the IL-1α/TP-ratio and cutaneous blood cell flux can be used as robust measures of the effect of shear-force on skin in humans. Therefore, this model can be used to evaluate materials aimed at the reduction of shear.
Link to the publication at the U.S. National Library of Medicine