Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.


Bioengineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Prashanth Asuri

Second Advisor

Shoba Krishnan


There is a demonstrated need in the biowearables industry for a benchtop model that can accurately emulate the perspiration mechanism and corresponding impedance vs. frequency spectra of skin. This model, or skin phantom, could increase the efficiency and accuracy of early-stage testing of biowearables, as well as minimize animal, human, and cadaver testing.

The objective of this project is to develop a skin phantom that can emulate the perspiration mechanism and impedance spectrum behavior of human skin for the testing of biowearables in the 2,000 - 20,000 Hz range. We also endeavored to create computer-simulated models to aid in the optimization of our phantom.

We designed a three-layered, PDMS-based physical model based off of the skin’s sweat duct and pore structure that closely matched skin’s impedance vs. frequency behavior. Our computer simulations validated our understanding of the material properties that made our phantom a good match for human skin.

While we were unable to complete all desired experiments due to campus closure, we were successful in designing and building a skin phantom that accurately mimicked the desired skin properties, while also being reusable, non-toxic, and easily manufacturable.

Further experiments should be done to validate and improve our computer simulations and mathematical models. Further manipulation of our skin phantom’s factors should be done to match the skin’s impedance vs. frequency behavior more closely.