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Smart Tattoos to Detect Fever, Sun Exposure, and Maybe Diagnose Diseases

Tattoos have a long history on the human skin, underlined by a find of a body in the Alps more than 5,000 years old that had tattoos all over it. While tattoos have mostly served as decorations, status symbols, and as parts of rituals, researchers at University of Colorado Boulder believe they can be made to serve medical purposes.

The researchers encased special dyes within plastic microcapsules that are extremely small and that can be injected within the interstitial fluid of the skin, just like regular tattoo dyes. The nifty thing is that the new method allows the dyes to react to various environmental parameters, such as heat and sunlight.

For example, one tattoo may be made to appear only if a person is experiencing a fever, while another tattoo may serve as an indicator of sun exposure to help prevent sun burns. This has already been developed in proof-of-concept prototypes, and the researchers believe that their approach may lead to other types of tattoos that may be able to detect diseases and various health conditions.

Of course this is all laboratory work right now and actual tattoos that may enter clinical practice are a long way away. The biohackers in us are nevertheless quite excited by the potential of this technology.

Here’s a couple of videos from University of Colorado Boulder showing off the technology that’s used to make the new smart tattoos:

Via: CU Boulder…

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