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Sunday, July 28, 2019

A simple tattoo that changes color could save many lives


Today's tattoos are far from the rudimentary ink marks of sailors or the tribal pieces of some remote civilizations.
It is certain that the taboo has already been lifted with respect to these pieces of ink.


They are now accepted at all social levels and have reached amazing levels of expertise.
But the future of tattoos goes far beyond what we could imagine, one day they could even save your life.
I don't know how they would react in your family if you arrived with a gigantic tattoo along your entire torso, maybe they would be shocked.


But what if at that moment you tell them that:
You, your son, a type I diabetes patient since age 6.
The child whose blood levels they have feared so much over and over again.
You have a last generation biotechnology piece on your skin that will change color when you need an insulin injection before you develop symptoms.
Surely they would be very grateful, but they would also ask you why you didn't make a discreet arrow on your wrist. 😉


But the reality is that medical tattoos are a fact. At this time MIT scientists announced that they are working on a very special tattoo.
You would never have imagined that to know the latest trends in tattoos you would have to go to the prestigious MIT Media Lab laboratory.



This is a place that keeps very little in common with a tatoos store.
Since the last 40 years the best professionals in the world have gathered here to conduct multidisciplinary teams creating the most advanced technologies.
They may not be the "bad guys" in a gallery of body modifications but they are the "bad guys" of technology, so to speak.
There meet the best designers, engineers, nanotechnologists and computer scientists in the world and this time they have really managed to take a look at the future.



The experts of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are:
Katie Vega, Xin Liu, Viirj Kan, and Nick Barry.
They teamed up with graduates of Harvard Medical School:
Ali Yetisen and Nan Jiang, together have created a project called DermalAbyss .
When asked about the name of their project they tell us that Dermal means skin and Abyss simply "sounded cool to them."
And what they are doing goes beyond cool, it is absolutely amazing.



They are working on an ink with biosensors that react to changes in interstitial fluid.
This fluid is like the plasma that is between each cell and makes up approximately one sixth of the body's tissues.
What this means is that they detect changes in glucose, pH and sodium levels in the body.



This may seem interesting to an ordinary person, but if you have diabetes this means much more.
The team explains it best in the statement they made through the MIT Lab page.
"With DermalAbyss we imagine a future where the painful procedure of testing sugar levels at all times with a needle will be replaced with a tattoo that changes color from green to brown according to blood sugar levels."
Thus the user can constantly monitor their blood glucose levels just by looking at the color of the ink on their tattoo.


And the best part is that this is only the beginning, technology could be developed to monitor or diagnose other diseases, store data or simply prevent health.



For now the technology is in the testing phase.
They are using pig skin because of its similarity to the human, the same one used by tattooists and novice doctors to practice.

So we still have to wait a while to start seeing tattoos that save lives by changing color.
Hurry up guys!

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