Quantification of Itchiness (Device)

Method for obtaining objective quantitative data using an artificial claw-shaped device with a built-in strain gage.


  • Objectively and quantitatively quantify scratching sensation (intensity)
  • Enables objective assessment of the severity and pathology of pruritic diseases

Technology Overview and Background

Humans show scratching behavior with their hands and fingers in response to pruritic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis.  However, no effective method for objectively assessing scratching sensation (intensity) has been established to date.  Although various studies have been conducted to solve this problem, evaluation of the scratching sensation has been difficult in every case.  As a result, we have no choice but to rely on the subjective evaluation of patients for the evaluation.

In this study, an artificial claw-shaped device with a built-in strain gauge was used to evaluate the intensity of the scratching sensation objectively and quantitatively.  This device can measure the number and intensity of human scratching motions stably and accurately measured, and therefore the severity and pathology of scratching disease can be objectively assessed.  The data obtained by the present technology can be applied to the appropriate selection of the type and amount of injectable, oral, and topical application agents to be applied for treatment.

Furthermore, by objectively assessing the variation of itchiness within and between days and seasons, it is expected to contribute to the development of new drugs that are effective and have minimal side effects by accurately determining the effectiveness of the applied oral or topical medications.


prototype device; test waveform data

Figure.  An example of a claw-type device worn on the ventral side of the finger and the resulting data.  The waveforms provide information on the frequency and intensity of scratching, as well as the evaluation of the scratching workload.


Filed in Japan (unpublished; prior to PCT application)


Hironobu KOSEKI, MD, PhD

–  Professor, School of Health Sciences, Nagasaki University (Japan)


On behalf of Nagasaki University, Tech Manage Corp. is looking for companies that are interested in licensing this invention for commercialization and practical use.

We are ready to meet with the inventor and disclose the actual prototype device and other information.  If a confidentiality agreement (CDA) is signed between your company and Nagasaki University, unpublished data/information can be disclosed.  You can also collaborate with the inventors and conduct exclusive/non-exclusive paid evaluations (with a license option) for a certain period.

Project code: JT-03326



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