Statistics, Department of


Date of this Version



Beatty, M.W.;Wee, A.G.; Marx, D.B.; Ridgway, L.; Simetich, B.; De Sousa, T.C.; Vakilzadian, K.; Schulte, J. Viscoelastic Properties of Human Facial Skin and Comparisons with Facial Prosthetic Elastomers. Materials 2023, 16, 2023. https://


Open access.


Prosthesis discomfort and a lack of skin-like quality is a source of patient dissatisfaction with facial prostheses. To engineer skin-like replacements, knowledge of the differences between facial skin properties and those for prosthetic materials is essential. This project measured six viscoelastic properties (percent laxity, stiffness, elastic deformation, creep, absorbed energy, and percent elasticity) at six facial locations with a suction device in a human adult population equally stratified for age, sex, and race. The same properties were measured for eight facial prosthetic elastomers currently available for clinical usage. The results showed that the prosthetic materials were 1.8 to 6.4 times higher in stiffness, 2 to 4 times lower in absorbed energy, and 2.75 to 9 times lower in viscous creep than facial skin (p < 0.001). Clustering analyses determined that facial skin properties fell into three groups—those associated with body of ear, cheek, and remaining locations. This provides baseline information for designing future replacements for missing facial tissues.