Color-changing tattoos aim to monitor blood sugar, other health stats – CBS News
For many, keeping tabs on blood sugar every day is expensive, time-consuming and invasive, but researchers at MIT and Harvard are exploring a creative new approach that could one day help make things easier: biosensing .
The scientists have developed special tattoo ink that contains chemicals that can sense, pH, and sodium. When blood sugar goes up, for example, the glucose sensing ink changes from blue to brown. When a person’s salt levels increase, the sodium sensing ink becomes a more vibrant green under UV light. When alkaline levels shifts, a pH sensor changes from purple to pink.
The DermalAbyss ink – still in what scientists call the “proof-of-concept” stage – alters its hues in response to changes in the fluids inside a person’s body, MIT Media Lab researcher Xin Liu told CBS News. It literally becomes an interactive display.
“People with diabetes email us and say, ‘I want to try it out,'” Liu said.
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