These tattoos changes colour depending on blood-sugar level and could be the next big boon for diabetics

With Dermal Abyss, the researchers imagine the future where the painful procedure will be replaced with a tattoo. Thus, the user could monitor the colour changes and the need for insulin.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published:July 11, 2017 10:02 pm
diabetes, colour changing tattoos, diabetes tattoos, tattos change colour blood sugar, Dermal Abyss, diabetes research, biosensing tattoos, health news, indian express The salt-sensing inks track the mineral by measuring sodium levels and changes colour as sugar in the blood rises or falls. (Source: media.mit.edu)

Love getting inked? With time we have come across various tattoo trends, from minimalist tattoos to elaborate colourful tattoos, that says a story of their own. But do you think it’s just a fashion statement? While there may have been few bizarre and unusual tattoo trends in the last couple of years, from people donning eyeball tattoos to freckles. There are many who have used tattoos for a good cause. scare-hiding tattoos have been there for quite some time now, that helps patients with big surgical scars and acid attack victims to beautify their marks, now there is a colour-changing tattoo. Yes, and it’s not about style, this has been designed for patients with diabetes.

Scare-hiding tattoos have been there for quite some time now, that helps patients with big surgical scars and acid attack victims to beautify their marks, now there is a colour-changing tattoo. Yes, and it’s not about style, this has been designed for patients with diabetes.

A group of researchers from Harvard and MIT have recently created tattoos that change colour based on the rise and fall in the blood sugar levels. The colour-changing ink used in these ‘biosensing tattoos’ turns the body’s surface into an ‘interactive display’ to alert diabetics when their blood sugar level is too low or high. “It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry,” the team writes on their blog.

If blood sugar level is low it changes from brown to blue, and if it is high then it changes from blue to brown.

These helpful medicinal tattoos are a result of the Dermal Abyss project. “Traditional tattoo inks are replaced with biosensors whose colours change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry,” says their blog-post on the project that is still at the research level.

The salt-sensing inks track the mineral by measuring sodium levels. “The pH sensor changes between purple and pink, the glucose sensor shifts between blue and brown; the sodium and a second pH sensor fluoresce at a higher intensity under UV light,” the blog added.

Watch how the colour changes in the tattoo here

The research could be quite revolutionary for people living with Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. As severe patients now need to pierce their skin, 3 to 10 times, these tattoos can ut an end to their pain. “With Dermal Abyss, we imagine the future where the painful procedure is replaced with a tattoo, of which the colour from pink to purple based on the glucose levels. Thus, the user could monitor the colour changes and the need for insulin.”

Getting a tattoo has been more than a fashion statement for centuries. While many tribes used it as a symbol of the clan, ancient practices also suggest it’s used as a punishment and there is some evidence of medicinal tattoos in ancient Egypt.

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