Human living skin generates an increase in the skin potential when compressed. This was measured on eight subjects with a matrix of nine Ag/AgCl electrodes. The potential increased with the pressure until it reached a maximum. When the pressure was increased stepwise, the response showed an overshoot at each step. Human cadaver skin did not show these potential increments. Neither did pads of collagen, paper tissue soaked in a KCl solution, nor layers of cultured keratinocytes. Three theories are described that may explain the origin of the measured skin potentials. The first is based on the piezoelectric characteristics of proteins in the skin. The second theory assumes that the skin is a charged membrane which generates a streaming potential when deformed. A third theory is proposed in which deformation of absorbed charged protein layers on structures in the skin change the alignment of Donnan potentials in the surrounding tissue.
- 2023 OA procedure