Strategies in surface engineering for the regulation of microclimates in skin-medical product interactions

H. Reuvekamp*, E.E.G. Hekman, E. van der Heide, D.T.A. Matthews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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There is a growing number of personal healthcare devices that are in prolonged contact with the skin. The functionality of these products is linked to the interface formed by the contact between the medical apparatus and the skin. The interface can be characterised by its topology, compliance, and moisture and thermal regulating capabilities. Many devices are, however, described to have suboptimal and occlusive contacts, resulting in physiological unfavourable microclimates at the interface. The resulting poor management of moisture and temperature can impact the functionality and utility of the device and, in severe cases, lead to physical harm to the user. Being able to control the microclimate is therefore expected to limit medical-device related injuries and prevent associated skin complications. Surface engineering can modify and potentially enhance the regulation of the microclimate factors surrounding the interface between a product's surface and the skin. This review provides an overview of potential engineering solutions considering the needs for, and influences on, regulation of temperature and moisture by considering the skin-medical device interface as a system. These findings serve as a platform for the anticipated progress in the role of surface engineering for skin-device microclimate regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25395
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024


  • Surface engineering
  • Microclimate regulation
  • Personal healthcare device
  • Contact interface
  • Skin-product interaction


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