Regulating Microclimates in Biomedical Product Interfaces by Surface Engineering

Hanneke Reuvekamp*, E.E.G. Hekman (Contributor), David T.A. Matthews (Contributor), Emile van der Heide (Contributor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Alongside the increasing amount of personal healthcare devices being used, also more medical-device related injuries (MDRI’s) are experienced at the interface between the device and the skin. A systems approach showed that the predominant underlying cause of these MDRI's is prolonged skin contact resulting in an unfavourable microclimate, comprising the effects of humidity, temperature and airflow. We hypothesize that these injuries can be prevented through intelligent product design. In general, managing MDRI’s is hard from dermatology and engineering practice: It shows that up till now it is a process of trial-and-error and the focus is on reduction of symptoms, rather than prevention. In the end, the use of these products, as well the treatment of incurred co-morbidities such as pressure ulcers or dermatitis are paired with significant costs. Also, finding an adequate way of treating the symptoms may be a lengthy process. Surface engineering is well known to further modify and possibly enhance the functionality and performance of a product, including the thermo-mechanical interactions taking place at the skin-medical device interface. In order to be able to reduce the trial-and-error time and create personalised solutions for microclimate regulation through surface engineering, steps towards research and design must be taken. Engineers and healthcare professionals report that future work should focus on creating design maps supporting the engineering process in which microclimate regulation mechanisms are designed. This research will address the role of surface engineering in microclimate regulation of personal healthcare devices in prolonged contact with the skin by introducing a design map for the development of interfaces managing both the thermal and moisture component. This will be done with respect to the correlation of texture features, material properties, and product characteristics. The presentation will link knowledge from dermatological, biomechanical and engineering perspectives and current and future microclimate regulation strategies from a systems approach as a first step towards the proposed design map.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023
EventDutch Biomedical Engineering conference, BME 2023 - Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Jan 202327 Jan 2023


ConferenceDutch Biomedical Engineering conference, BME 2023
Abbreviated titleBME 2023
CityEgmond aan Zee


  • Surface engineering
  • Personalised Healthcare Device
  • Microclimate
  • Skin-product Interface


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