Development of a Low-cost, High-fidelity Skin Model for Suturing

Taylor P. Williams, Clifford L. Snyder, Kevin J. Hancock, Nicholas J. Iglesias, Christian Sommerhalder, Shannon C. DeLao, Aisen C. Chacin, Alexander Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: In a survey of students at our institution, suturing was the most desired workshop for simulation; however, cost, quality, and availability of skin pads is often prohibitive for suturing workshops. In-hospital fabrication may be utilized to manufacture noncommercial, high-fidelity, and low-cost simulation models. We describe the production, value, and face validation of our simulated skin model. Materials and methods: Using an in-hospital fabrication laboratory, we have developed a model for skin and subcutaneous tissue. Our model uses a variety of commercially available materials to simulate the epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous fat, fascia, and muscle. A cost analysis was performed by comparing it with other commonly used commercial skin models. Expert surgeons assessed the material characteristics, durability, and overall quality of our model in comparison with other commercial models. Results: The materials cost of our novel skin pad model was 30.9% of the mean cost of five different commonly used foam and silicone-based commercial skin models. This low-cost model is more durable than the commercial models, does not require skin pad holders, and is of higher fidelity than the commercial products. In addition to skin closure, our model may be used to simulate fascial closure or fasciotomy. Conclusions: Model creation using in-hospital workspaces is an effective strategy to decrease cost while improving quality of surgical simulation. Our methods for creation of an inexpensive and high-fidelity skin pad may be purposed for several soft tissue models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-622
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Cost
  • Fidelity
  • Simulation
  • Skin model
  • Surgical training
  • Suturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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