Measurement of skin displacement during circular suction/relaxation by video (optical flow).
The CutiScan offers a new dimension of looking at the mechanical properties of the skin (viscoelasticity & anisotropy). It is currently in a testing period.
The novel probe combines mechanical force with imaging in a unique way. It consists of a suction ring (14 mm diameter) which draws the skin uniformly in all directions with a constant negative pressure provided inside the CutiScan-device for some seconds and then releases the applied pressure completely again for some seconds. During the suction and recovery time a high resolution CCD camera inside the probe (in the middle of the suction ring) monitors the displacement of each pixel by an optical flow algorithm (Horn-Schunk method) in a video. From that video an overall graph is generated. These graphs lead to interesting measurement parameters.
Each direction in the graph is displayed as a curve of suction vs. relaxation (related to those known from other mechanical measurement methods for the skin).
The black arrows indicated the displacement during suction time. The higher the skin’s ability to resist the displacement, the more firm the skin.
The red arrows indicated the returning of the skin into its original position by itself when the pressure in ceased. According to its elastic/viscoelastic properties skin cannot get back to the original position immediately after the pressure has stopped.