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The University of Southampton
Fundamental Care

Skin Health

Our research focuses on strategies designed to maintain skin health with a particular focus on the prevention of pressure ulcers, a condition which afflicts all ages of the population. It is well known to reduce Quality and Life and represents both a Patient Safety issue and a major financial burden on the health services.

Skin Health Theme
Skin Health

Skin Health

The research led by Dan Bader and Peter Worsley spans basic laboratory testing using physical and computational models for medical device evaluation, controlled experiments using a range of able-bodied volunteers, to clinical trials involving patients considered at risk of developing pressure ulcers. The group’s work has evaluated the safety of medical devices that interface with the skin, following evidence that implicated devices in the development of over 30% of pressure ulcers acquired in hospitals. Indeed, pressure ulcers in both the acute and community settings contribute to an NHS financial wound care burden of £4Bn/yr. Our research is facilitated by establishing robust test protocols conducted in state-of-art facilities based in the Clinical Academic Facility in the University Hospitals Southampton Trust.

The Skin Health team has been at the forefront of the Clinical Academic postgraduate programme, mentoring clinicians to complete part-time PhDs with clinical collaborators (Solent, Portsmouth, Southern and Salisbury NHS Trust). Bader and Worsley are actively involved with national and international groups including the Tissue Viability Society (Bader is a fellow and Editor of the Tissue Viability Journal) and the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (Worsley is a Trustee and Scientific Committee chair). Our research findings have been used in collaboration with industrial partners to evaluate and develop new medical devices, which safely interface with patent's skin and our work has influenced the guidelines produced by the European, US and Pan-Pacific Panels (EPUAP/NPUAP/PPPIA).

Our ultimate goal is to establish robust parameters, which indicate the status of loaded skin and soft tissues, based on an array of biomechanical, biophysical and microclimate measurements, in conjunction with biomarkers. We aim to translate these technologies in a range of care settings to improve clinical practice and support self-management of skin health.


Professor Dan Bader

Dr Peter Worsley

Dr Davide Filingeri

Dr Silvia Caggiari

Dr Anto John

Professor Lisette Schoonhoven

With colleagues from the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences:

Professor Liudi Jiang

Dr Alex Dickinson 

Device related pressure ulcers

Dr Peter Worsley explains why the prevention of device related pressure ulcers is important

Device-related PU
16 April 2021

Bladder & Bowel Management Group is deligh...

The conference is hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers...

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15 April 2021

Cambodian study assesses 3D scanning techn...

Cutting-edge 3D scanners have been put to the test by researchers f...

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31 March 2021

Bladder & Bowel Management research group ...

Sandra Wilks, Microbiologist and Margaret Macaulay, Senior Research...

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PhD, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton

  • "Interfacial pressure and shear sensor systems for lower limb prosthetic applications”, P Lazsczak, 2016
  • “Biomechanical analysis of the lower limb amputee socket interface”, J Tang, 2018
  • “Investigating the Mechanisms of Soft Tissue Damage at the Residual Limb-Socket Interface”,  J Bramley, 2020

PhD, Faculty/School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton

  • “Are strategies, including mechanical and traditional repositioning, effective for pressure ulcer prevention?”, MJS Woodhouse, 2017
  • “Impaired lymphatic clearance and pro-inflammatory cytokines in mechanically loaded tissue - implications in pressure ulcer aetiology”, RJ Gray, 2018
  • “Investigation of the underlying mechanisms leading to the development of incontinence-associated dermatitis”, S. Koudounas, 2019
  • “An interdisciplinary approach to pressure ulcer prevention in the community setting: Exploring the barriers and facilitators for implementation”, PD Clarkson, 2019
  • “Bioengineering technologies to monitor movements in supported postures: a potential strategy to prevent pressure ulcers”, S Caggiari, 2020

Hosted International academics and intern students (2016-)

  • Professor B. Bates-Jensen, School of Medicine and Nursing, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, 2016
  • J. van Asten, Biomedical Engineering, Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2018
  • W. van Zwam, Biomedical Engineering, Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2018
  • Dr. F. Henshaw, School of Medicine and Health, Univ. of Western Sydney, Australia, 2018
  • L. Peko, Biomechanics Laboratory, Tel Aviv University, Israel, 2018
  • L. Crielaard, Biomedical Engineering, Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2019
  • L. v D Boogaaert, Biomedical Engineering, Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2019
  • J. Verberne, Biomedical Engineering, Technical University of  Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2020
List of related projects to
Related ProjectsStatusType
STINTS - Skin Tissue Integrity under ShearActiveGrant
Prosthetics and OrthoticsActiveGrant
Sensor Smart Liner for a lower Limb prosthesisActiveOther
A BioEngineering approach for the SAFE design and fitting of Respiratory Protective Equipment (BE-SAFE RPE)ActiveGrant
Development of the fundamental 3D face-mask model and multi-individual model using mesh morphing approachesActiveOther
Objective Assessment of Skin and Soft tissues (OASIS): improving on RodnanActiveGrant
Industry CollaborationActive Other
Medical Devices and Vulnerable Skin Network (MDVSN)DormantGrant
Pressure reduction through continuous monitoring in community settings (PROMISE)DormantGrant
Load monitoring and Intervention System (LOMIS) to prevent diabetic foot ulcerationActiveGrant
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