Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.



First Advisor

Emre Araci

Second Advisor

Prashanth Asuri


The biowerables constitute one of the fastests growing sectors of the medical device industry. Novel approaches for rapid prototyping have increased design and development speeds. However, in vivo testing that is currently used for many medical devices makes testing time-consuming, costly, and presents ethical issues. As an alternative, benchtop testing tools promise to alleviate these concerns. Artificial tissue phantoms that are capable of mimicking the characteristics of human tissues are required for demonstrating a medical device’s safety and efficacy in benchtop tests. While there are many hydrogels that are able to mimic these relevant properties of human tissue, creating a protective layer which has chemical, electrical, and mechanical properties similar to skin has remained challenging. The goal of this project was to create an artificial skin layer that can be used in biowearable testing. Our team aimed to create this skin phantom using cost effective and accessible materials that can be paired with a tissue phantom to create a complete artificial phantom for biowearable testing.

We tested materials to obtain an artificial layer with electrical and physical properties that aligned with human skin. After much testing, and inspired by the fruit skin, we were able to find that wax paper is able to serve as a skin phantom when used in conjunction with agarose gel. By placing a sheet of wax paper over an agarose gel, a complete skin phantom was generated. We tested this complete phantom to characterize its electrical behavior and created an electrical system that is able to be used as a cost-effective, rapid, and repeatable testing method. We showed that the skin significantly reduces the water transport, providing a protective layer for biowearables.