All Publications

  • From decoding the perception of tightness to a clinical proof of soothing effects derived from natural ingredients in a moisturizer. International journal of cosmetic science Hendrickx-Rodriguez, S., Connetable, S., Lynch, B., Pace, J., Bennett-Kennett, R., Luengo, G. S., Dauskardt, R., Potter, A. 2022


    OBJECTIVE: To decode the feeling of skin tightness after application of a cosmetic product and how to soothe this discomfort. To pursue this aim, we considered the ingredient's effect on stratum corneum (SC) biomechanics to differentiate between consumers prone to tightness from those that are not and correlate these effects with mechanoreceptor activation.METHODS: In vivo clinical trials were used to assess the tightness perception dichotomy between groups of Caucasian women; in vitro experiments were used to measure the mechanical stresses induced in the SC after cleanser and moisturizer application; and in silico simulations were used to illustrate how the measured mechanical stresses in the SC result in the development of strains at the depth of cutaneous mechanoreceptors, triggering tightness perceptual responses.RESULTS: Before any cream application, women prone to tightness tend to have a more rigid SC than their less sensitive counterparts, however cleanser application increases SC stiffness in all women. Surprisingly, no correlation was found between tightness perception and hydration measurements by the Corneometer or barrier function, as evaluated by transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Self-declared tightness and dryness scores were strongly associated with a self-described sensitive skin. After application of the optimized moisturizing formula, Osmoskin containing natural waxes with good filming properties, consumers report a strong decrease in tightness and dryness perception. These results match with laboratory experiments where the cleanser was shown to increase SC drying stresses by 34%, while subsequent application of Osmoskin decreased stresses by 48%. Finite element modeling (FEM), using experimental results as input, elucidates the differences in perception between the two groups of women. It makes clear that Osmoskin changes the mechanical status of the stratum corneum, producing strains in underlying epidermis that activates multiple cutaneous mechano-receptors at a level correlated with the self-perceived comfort.CONCLUSION: Integration of the in vivo, in vitro, and in silico approaches provides a novel framework for fully understanding how skin tightness sensations form and propagate, and how these sensations can be alleviated through the design of an optimized moisturizer.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ics.12797

    View details for PubMedID 35775314

  • Are college campuses superspreaders? A data-driven modeling study. Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering Lu, H., Weintz, C., Pace, J., Indana, D., Linka, K., Kuhl, E. 2021: 1–11


    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present enormous challenges for colleges and universities and strategies for save reopening remain a topic of ongoing debate. Many institutions that reopened cautiously in the fall experienced a massive wave of infections and colleges were soon declared as the new hotspots of the pandemic. However, the precise effects of college outbreaks on their immediate neighborhood remain largely unknown. Here we show that the first two weeks of instruction present a high-risk period for campus outbreaks and that these outbreaks tend to spread into the neighboring communities. By integrating a classical mathematical epidemiology model and Bayesian learning, we learned the dynamic reproduction number for 30 colleges from their daily case reports. Of these 30 institutions, 14 displayed a spike of infections within the first two weeks of class, with peak seven-day incidences well above 1,000 per 100,000, an order of magnitude larger than the nation-wide peaks of 70 and 150 during the first and second waves of the pandemic. While most colleges were able to rapidly reduce the number of new infections, many failed to control the spread of the virus beyond their own campus: Within only two weeks, 17 campus outbreaks translated directly into peaks of infection within their home counties. These findings suggests that college campuses are at risk to develop an extreme incidence of COVID-19 and become superspreaders for neighboring communities. We anticipate that tight test-trace-quarantine strategies, flexible transition to online instruction, and-most importantly-compliance with local regulations will be critical to ensure a safe campus reopening after the winter break.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10255842.2020.1869221

    View details for PubMedID 33439055