Skin function and morphology: effects of age and physical activity

Can you help out in our study?

We're currently looking for volunteers for a cardiovascular physiology looking at the effects of age, disease, and physical activity on skin blood vessel structure and function. There is only one visit required for this study, which takes approximately 2-2.5 hours.

Participants need to fall within one of the following categories:

  1. 18-30 years old, recreationally-active 
  2. 18-45 years old, experienced distance runner
  3. 18-45 years old, experienced rock climber/boulderer
  4. 18-45 years old, experienced tennis/squash/badminton player
  5. 60-75 years old, recreationally-active

Recreationally-active participants must exercise less than three times a week. Experienced athletes need to participate in three or more training sessions a week, over at least the last two years.

The visit will first involve an assessment of skin vessel function, where the skin is warmed gradually and small laser probes measure the movement of blood in the skin.

After this we will collect a small (~3mm) skin biopsy from your forearm and calf. This is done under local anaesthetic and doesn’t require stitching afterwards. Full healing can be expected within one-two weeks. We will look at the biopsy under a microscope to identify the number of blood vessels in the skin, and compare this to how the vessels functioned in response to heating.

If you’re interested in taking part, please read the Participant Information Sheet. Please feel free to email if you have any questions.