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January/February 2011

Behind-the-Knee Test

A new ASTM International standard can be used to test both the inherent chemical irritation potential of a material as well as the effects of mechanical irritation to the skin.

F2808, Test Method for Performing Behind-the-Knee (BTK) Test for Evaluating Skin Irritation Response to Products and Materials that Come into Repeated or Extended Contact with Skin, was developed by Subcommittee F04.16 on Biocompatibility Test Methods, part of Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices.

Miranda Farage, principal scientist, Procter and Gamble Co., and an F04 member, says the BTK test covers the evaluation of both chemical and mechanical irritation of products while eliminating some of the limitations of current clinical test systems.

“The BTK method allows two products to be concurrently tested on the same participant,” says Farage. “Results from decades of BTK testing have shown the test to be reliable, reproducible and sensitive to subtle changes. The BTK test also provides results in a shorter period of time at a reduced cost.”

Farage says that F2808 provides a versatile test that is capable of providing meaningful results on a variety of material types and products, including, but not limited to, textiles, feminine hygiene products, facial tissues, baby and adult diapers, and laundry products.


Technical Information: Miranda Farage, Procter and Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

Phone: 513-634-5594

ASTM Staff: Daniel Schultz

Phone: 610-832-9716