Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.



First Advisor

Prashanth Asuri

Second Advisor

Emre Araci


The biowearable industry currently utilizes animals, humans, and cadavers for testing skin mounted bio-devices. There is a need for a sustainable skin phantom that is capable of simulating the properties of skin. We proposed a skin phantom educational kit that emulates the perspiration and electrical properties (i.e. impedance spectrum) of skin. This kit can mimic the effects of different sweat concentrations and geometrical structures and allows students to visualize how these properties change electrical measurements. We designed a three-layered model composed of silicone rubber sandwiched between agar, which is similar to the skin's elastomeric and porous texture. We used simple and safe equipment such as a digital multimeter and a low-voltage power source for testing our educational model.

We also constructed a computational model using COMSOL Multiphysics to simulate important skin phantom properties. Our COMSOL model is more complex than the agar-silicone layered model in the sense that it allows analysis of the impedance spectrum as a function of the perspiration mechanics. Through our COMSOL model, we achieved simulation of perspiration and studies on the effects of electrode distance, and material conductivity and relative permittivity in relation to impedance. From these tests, the simulation proves viable for scaling up to a realistic size, as our final model is sized-down for improved model development and testing purposes. Our COMSOL model serves as the groundwork for future improvements on replicating the skin’s mechanical, fluid, and electrical properties in a computer simulation.