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Tactile friction of topical formulations
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Surface and Corrosion Science. SP Tech Res Inst Sweden.
YKI Institute for Surface Chemistry.
ACO HUD Nordic AB.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Surface and Corrosion Science. SP Tech Res Inst Sweden.
2016 (English)In: Skin research and technology, ISSN 0909-752X, E-ISSN 1600-0846, Vol. 22, no 1, 46-54 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The tactile perception is essential for all types of topical formulations (cosmetic, pharmaceutical, medical device) and the possibility to predict the sensorial response by using instrumental methods instead of sensory testing would save time and cost at an early stage product development. Here, we report on an instrumental evaluation method using tactile friction measurements to estimate perceptual attributes of topical formulations. Methods: Friction was measured between an index finger and an artificial skin substrate after application of formulations using a force sensor. Both model formulations of liquid crystalline phase structures with significantly different tactile properties, as well as commercial pharmaceutical moisturizing creams being more tactile-similar, were investigated. Friction coefficients were calculated as the ratio of the friction force to the applied load. The structures of the model formulations and phase transitions as a result of water evaporation were identified using optical microscopy. Results: The friction device could distinguish friction coefficients between the phase structures, as well as the commercial creams after spreading and absorption into the substrate. In addition, phase transitions resulting in alterations in the feel of the formulations could be detected. A correlation was established between skin hydration and friction coefficient, where hydrated skin gave rise to higher friction. Also a link between skin smoothening and finger friction was established for the commercial moisturizing creams, although further investigations are needed to analyse this and correlations with other sensorial attributes in more detail. Conclusion: The present investigation shows that tactile friction measurements have potential as an alternative or complement in the evaluation of perception of topical formulations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Vol. 22, no 1, 46-54 p.
National Category
Physical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103723DOI: 10.1111/srt.12227ISI: 000370302100007PubMedID: 25783057ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84952838395OAI: diva2:561513

Updated from Manuscript to Article.

QC 20160204. QC 20160319

Available from: 2012-10-19 Created: 2012-10-19 Last updated: 2016-03-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tactile Perception: Role of Friction and Texture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tactile Perception: Role of Friction and Texture
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Tactile perception is considered an important contributor to the overall consumer experience of a product. However, what physical properties that create the specifics of tactile perception, are still not completely understood. This thesis has researched how many dimensions that are required to differentiate the surfaces perceptually, and then tried to explain these dimensions in terms of physical properties, by interconnecting human perception measurements with various physical measurements. The tactile perception was assessed by multidimensional scaling or magnitude estimation, in which methods human participants assign numbers to how similar pairs of surfaces are perceived or to the relative quantity of a specified perceptual attribute, such as softness, smoothness, coarseness and coolness. The role of friction and surface texture in tactile perception was investigated in particular detail, because typically tactile exploration involves moving (at least) one finger over a textured surface. A tactile approach for measuring friction was developed by means of moving a finger over the surfaces, mounted on a force sensor. The contribution of finger friction to tactile perception was investigated for surfaces of printing papers and tissue papers, as well as for model surfaces with controlled topography. The overarching research goal of this thesis was to study, systematically, the role of texture in tactile perception of surfaces.

The model surfaces displayed a sinusoidal texture with a characteristic wavelength and amplitude, fabricated by surface wrinkling and replica molding techniques. A library of surfaces was manufactured, ranging in wavelengths from 270 nm up to 100 µm and in amplitudes from 7 nm up to 6 µm. These surfaces were rigid and cleanable and could therefore be reused among the participants. To my knowledge, this is the first time in a psychophysical experiment, that the surface texture has been controlled over several orders of magnitude in length scale, without simultaneously changing other material properties of the stimuli.

The finger friction coefficient was found to decrease with increasing aspect ratio (amplitude/wavelength) of the model surfaces and also with increasing average surface roughness of the printing papers. Analytical modeling of the finger’s interaction with the model surfaces shows how the friction coefficient increases with the real contact area, and that the friction mechanism is the same on both the nanoscale and microscale. The same interaction mechanism also explains the friction characteristics of tissue paper. Furthermore, it was found that the perceptions of smoothness, coarseness, coolness and dryness are satisfactorily related to the real contact area at the finger-surface interface. 

It is shown that it is possible to discern perceptually among both printing papers and tissue papers, and this differentiation is based on either two or three underlying dimensions. Rough/smooth and thin/thick were the two main dimensions of surface feel found for the printing papers, whereas friction and wavelength were strongly related to the perceptual cues employed in scaling the model surfaces. These experimental results support the duplex theory of texture perception, which holds that both a “spatial sense”; used to discriminate the roughest textures from the others, and a “vibration sense”; used to discriminate among the smoother textures, are involved. The perception of what is considered rough and smooth depends on the experimental stimulus context. It is concluded that friction is important for human differentiation of surface textures below about 10 µm in surface roughness, and for larger surface textures, friction is less important or can even be neglected.

The finger friction experiments also allowed the following conclusions to be drawn: (i) The interindividual variation in friction coefficients is too large to allow direct comparison; however, the trends in relative friction coefficients for a group of participants are the same. (ii) Lipids are transferred to the test surface of study, and this lowers the friction. (iii) Many of the studies point to a characteristic frequency during sliding of about 30 Hz, which is both characteristic of the resonance frequency of skin and the expected frequency associated with the fingerprints. (iv) The applied load in surface interrogation is in fact regulated in response to the friction force.

The limits in tactile perception were indirectly researched by similarity scaling experiments on the model surfaces. Wrinkle wavelengths of 760 nm and 870 nm could be discriminated from untextured reference surfaces, whereas 270 nm could not. The amplitude of the wrinkles so discriminated was approximately 10 nm, suggesting that nanotechnology may well have a role to play in haptics and tactile perception.

Abstract [sv]

Taktil perception bidrar starkt till den sammantagna upplevelsen av en produkt, men hur materials olika ytegenskaper påverkar och styr perceptionen är ännu inte helt klart. Den här avhandlingen undersöker hur många och vilka egenskaper som är viktiga när känslan mellan två ytor jämförs. Tillvägagångssättet är tvärvetenskapligt där fysikaliska mätningar kopplas ihop med perceptions mätningar där människor används som instrument. Två typer av perceptionsförsök har utförts, multidimensionell skalning där försökspersoner sätter siffror på hur lika två ytor känns, samt magnitud estimation där i stället intensiteten på specifika perceptuella storheter som t.ex. upplevt lenhet, upplevd mjukhet och upplevd strävhet bedömdes. Eftersom taktil perception innebär kontakt samt relativ rörelse mellan hud och ytor, har fokus i avhandlingen varit att undersöka hur friktion och ytans struktur (ytråhet) påverkar och bidrar till den taktila perceptionen. Förutom fysikaliska mätningar på friktion och ytstruktur har värmekonduktivitet, mjukhet samt olika standard mätningar inom pappersindustrin mätts. En metod för att mäta friktion mellan ett finger och olika ytor har utvecklats för att i möjligaste mån återspegla friktionskomponenten i upplevt taktil perception. Friktionskoefficienter beräknades och jämfördes mellan alla ytor. De stimuli som har studerats är tryckpapper och mjukpapper samt modellytor, gjorda för att systematiskt undersöka hur ytstruktur påverkar perceptionen.

Tillverkningsmetoden för modellytorna valdes så att ytorna var tåliga och kunde tvättas och därmed återanvändas. Strukturen på ytorna bestod av ett vågformat mönster där våglängden varierade mellan 270 nm och 100 µm och amplituden mellan 7 nm och 6 µm. Enligt vår vetskap är det första gången som strukturer i de här skalorna har gjorts utan att samtidigt ändra andra material egenskaper.

Friktionskoefficienten minskade med ökad kvot mellan amplituden och våglängden på modellytorna samt med ytråheten på tryckpappren. En analytisk modell tillämpades på kontakten mellan ett finger och ytorna som visade att friktionskoefficienten beror av den verkliga kontaktarean. För de mycket grövre mjukpappren uppmättes inga stora skillnader i friktion förmodligen för att kontakarean mellan de olika mjukpapprena var lika. Den faktiska kontakarean visade sig också vara viktig för perceptionen av lenhet, strävhet, torrhet och svalhet.

Det visade sig vara en stor perceptuell skillnad mellan olika typer av tryckpapper och mjukpapper utifrån hur stimuli placerade sig på en taktil karta. För de tre materialen användes enbart två alternativt tre egenskaper hos materialet för att särskilja mellan alla olika par. För tryckpapper verkade en viktig dimension kunna beskrivas av alla de perceptuella och fysikaliska egenskaper som har med kontaktarean att göra, d.v.s. lenhet, svalhet, torrhet, ytråhet, värmekonduktivitet samt friktion. För att taktilt särskilja mellan olika ytor där bara strukturen är varierade, kunde friktion och våglängden relateras till spridningen i kartan. Båda studierna stödjer duplex theory of texture perception, där ett spatialt sinne används för att särskilja en av de grövre ytorna från en slät, och ett vibrationssinne för att särskilja mellan olika släta strukturer. Friktionen visade sig alltså vara en viktig fysikalisk egenskap för strukturer under åtminstone 10 µm i ytråhet.

Från fingerfriktions mätningar kunde även följande slutsatser dras: (i) Stora skillnader i friktionskoefficient mellan olika personer uppmättes, men trenderna mellan olika individer var samma, vilket gör att relativa skillnader i friktion från en individ är representativa. (ii) Lipider (fingerfett) som överförs från fingret till ytan vid kontakt sänker friktionen. (iii) Frekvensinnehållet i friktionskraften varierar mellan olika ytor och den frekvenstopp som ses vid 30 Hz kan möjligtvis bero på fingrets struktur eller resonansfrekvensen på huden. (iv) Den pålagda kraften under en friktionsmätning visar sig omedvetet regleras av den friktionskraft som fingret möter under rörelse. 

Hur små strukturer som kan diskrimineras har indirekt undersökts genom likhetsförsöket på modellytorna där försökspersoner skulle bedöma hur lika alla par av ytor kändes. Resultaten visade att ytorna med våglängder på 760 nm och 870 nm upplevdes olika jämfört med referens ytor utan något systematiskt mönster, medan ytan med 270 nm i våglängd inte kunde särskiljas. Amplituden på ytan som kunde diskrimineras var endast ca 10 nm, vilket indikerar att nanoteknologi mycket väl kan bidra inom haptiken och för att i framtiden kontrollera den taktila perceptionen.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xii, 78 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2012:48
human skin, tactile friction, finger friction, skin friction, skin tribology, biotribology, tactile perception, haptic perception, psychophysics, haptics, surface roughness, surface texture, contact area, nanostructure, model surfaces, surface wrinkling, printing paper, tissue paper, magnitude estimation, multidimensional scaling, tactile threshold, psychophysical relations, smoothness, coolness, coarseness, softness, force sensor, skin lipids, topical formulations, skin creams, taktil friktion, fingerfriktion, hudfriktion, hudtribologi, biotribologi, taktil perception, psykofysik, haptik, ytråhet, ytstruktur, ytveckning, nanostruktur, kontaktarea, modellytor, friktionskoefficient, kraftmätare, bestruket papper, obestruket papper, tryckpapper, mjukpapper, multidimensionell skalning, magnitud estimation, taktilt tröskelvärde, lenhet, mjukhet, svalhet, strävhet, hudlipider, topikala beredningar, hudkräm
National Category
Tribology Physical Chemistry Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Materials Chemistry Other Chemistry Topics
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103916 (URN)978-91-7501-499-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-16, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20121026

Available from: 2012-10-26 Created: 2012-10-24 Last updated: 2012-11-13Bibliographically approved

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