AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The synthetic skin technology patented by Dr. Vinu Unnikrishnan, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at West Texas A&M University, can mimic mechanical properties from any part of the human body.

“That led us to a different path in finding materials to test human behavior,” Dr. Unnikrishnan said. “We saw that there wasn’t much tissue available to test.”

Dr. Unnikrishnan said the research began with computational models of the human body, mixing different types of silicone.

“We developed this to test human tissues for ailments, one patent that I have is for diabetic insoles,” he said. “There are multiple areas that we envision this technology can be used. In protective devices, development of diagnostic procedures.”

For example, “if there is a laceration or a cut, we can envision to be used as some kind of protection system, with embedded antibacterial, antimicrobial properties,” he said.

Dr. Unnikrishnan said the material can also be used on large animals where soft tissues are encountered. Another advantage, it’s patient specific.

“Depending on what location you’re looking at, what location of the human tissues, or skin, we can tailor make the material to follow that property,” he said emphatically.