Skin changes in space

The SKIN B exhibit (SKIN B reference model) being showcased is identical to the model used from 2013 to 2017 on the International Space Station (ISS) (excluding the laptop). The SKIN B hardware consists of three instruments used to assess the condition of the skin (a Tewameter, a Corneometer and a camera), including a laptop. A Tewameter is a device that can determine transepidermal water loss. The Corneometer assesses the degree of skin hydration. The special Visioscan camera was used to obtain a visual representation of the skin’s surface. In addition, the capillary blood flow (microcirculation), ultrastructure and elasticity (using the Cutometer) of the skin were measured before and after the flight. The Tewameter, Corneometer and Visioscan camera were connected to the laptop for the experiment and controlled by the software.

The three devices are commercially available instruments that have been used in the feld of skin research for many years. They were purchased from the manufacturer Courage & Khazaka for use on the International Space Station. OHB System AG – on behalf of DLR Space Administration – converted and adapted the instruments for use in space. The European Space Agency (ESA) was responsible for transporting the SKIN B equipment to the ISS for training the astronauts as well as for conducting the operational aspects of the experiments in the Columbus module.

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
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