Diabetes can be an incredibly dangerous condition whether you have Type I or Type II. While both varieties present their own challenges and potential complications, one thing they have in common is the importance of monitoring blood sugar levels at all times. Now, there’s a tattoo that changes colors whenever blood sugar levels rise or fall.
Read on to discover more about the project as well as watching the video created by the researchers in support of their tattoo project, which is fascinating and promising even for those who aren’t diabetic.
The tattoo was created by scientists at MIT. The research project, known as Dermal Abyss, aimed to find out if tattoos could incorporate technology in order to make skin interactive and potentially provide healthcare benefits. MIT researchers Katia Vega, Xin Liu, Viirj Kan and Nick Barry and Harvard Medical School researchers Ali Yetisen and Nan Jiang came together to answer this question.
So how does it work? According to the project description, “Traditional tattoo inks are replaced with biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry.”
The biosensors measure to elements: pH levels in the body and blood sugar. When the body’s pH levels change, the skin sensors change between pink and purple. Blood sugar changes are noted by blue or brown color”ink.” Pretty cool! Under high-intensity UV lights, the sensors can also measure a second pH levels as well as sodium.
Sadly, we shouldn’t expect this to be available to the general public anytime soon. While what the MIT researchers have discovered is undoubtedly incredible and potentially incredibly helpful to those who suffer from conditions like diabetes, there are no plans at present to develop Dermal Abyss beyond the prototype stage or test it in clinical trials. Hopefully they reconsider this approach in future!
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