New form of tattoo could spot health problems with changing colors

Tattoos could provide health monitoring of patients in simple, low-cost way

Image by Aamir Mohd Khan from Pixabay.

If you’ve been waiting for a reason or excuse to get new ink, we’ve got one for you: There’s a new tattoo with health sensors.

A group of German scientists have created dermal sensors that can be applied as artistic tattoos and gauge when health indicators, including blood pH, change.

A tattoo needle would puncture the uppermost layer of skin, where it would release pigments from a colorimetric analytic formulation and stain the skin permanently, according to Science Daily.

The stained skin would change pigment as health indicators change.

A German researcher and his colleagues thought to use the technique so as to record changes directly, with no spatial distance or time delay, and ideally, over an extended period of time.

The researchers tested the theory on pig skin first and found when the pH was adjusted, the tattoo turned from yellow to blue.

Albumin, which transports protein in the blood, and glucose were also tested and showed similar results, Science Daily reported.

Researchers say these tattoos could provide health monitoring of patients in a simple and low-cost way.

Researchers have also indicated they may also be able to develop colorimetric sensors that could record the level of dehydration in a patient. 

Additional studies will look into whether the tattoos could be applied in identifying diseases or conditions in a person.

It's unclear when these tattoos may be available.

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