Inking Up: Biosensing Tattoos Capable of Monitoring Blood Sugaradmin
Monitoring and managing diabetes can be a very time consuming and sometimes invasive process for the sufferer, however a team of researchers at Harvard and MIT believe they are on track to developing an alternative.
DermalAbyss ink, a proof-of-concept biosensing ink, replaces traditional tattoo ink with “biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in interstitial fluid [a thin layer of fluid which surrounds the body’s cells]. It blend advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry,” a release from MIT explains.
The team investigated four different biosensors: a pH sensor which changes between purple and pink, a glucose sensor which changes between blue and brown, and a sodium and second pH sensor which light up under UV light.
At present, DermalAbyss has only been tested on pig skin. While pig and human skin are similar, human trials will be required to determine whether or not allergic reactions will occur and how well the technology will stand up over time. However, the team seems hopefully that this is a step in the right direction for those in need of continuous monitoring and diagnostics.