A very important function of the human subcutaneous fat layer is to act as a mechanical cushion. However, prolonged loading may result in damage such as pressure ulcers. Depending on the severity and origin of the ulcer, skin, subcutaneous fat and muscle can be affected. The aetiology of pressure ulcers is still poorly understood; it is not even clear whether wounds start to develop in skin, in the fat layer or even in deeper layers [1]. One of the tools used to better understand the way mechanical loading affects tissues is mechanical modeling. The success of a mechanical model strongly depends on the constitutive equations that are used to describe the mechanical properties obtained with experimental work. For skin and muscle much is already known, but a tremendous lack of data is found regarding the properties of adipose tissue. In the case of the subcutaneous fat tissue, very few of the mechanical properties have been determined experimentally.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.