Tattoos that detect pH and metabolites

With tattoos in real-time monitor chronic diseases? What’s strange as it may sound, could soon be used as a medical procedure. Researchers at the Technische University of Munich have a pigment that changes color when the body becomes ill. How the team reported in the journal “Angewandte Chemie”, can be read with the developed dye so-called biomarkers. These are biological characteristics – such as the body temperature, but also the blood sugar and cholesterol levels – on changes in the body back close.

There are situations, or more precisely of pathological states, where be able to detect reliably and quickly some blood parameters is extremely useful. This can go up to save your life. That is exactly what may make these tattoos developed by a team of German researchers among tissues of skin swine. Homeostasis of your potential hydrogen (ph), blood glucose, hepatic impairment. That is exactly what may make these tattoos developed by a team of German researchers among tissues of skin swine. Homeostasis of your potential hydrogen (ph), blood glucose, hepatic impairment. .. this small tattoos that come to develop these researchers can detect different metabolites ex vivo (glucose, albumin, etc.) could become a method less invasive for some chronic diseases. Published in The Journal of German Society of Chemistry Angewandte International Edition Chemie, this experience is perhaps one of the premises of a new way faster and less binding to detect, detect, and prevent. But it will still have to wait for a little before that is tested in humans.

How does it work?

Before anything, it must know that the exchange of metabolites is constant between the blood plasma (PS) and the interstitial fluid (LI). The latter contains a majority of sugars, electrolytes, lipids, and protein. These tattoos are the first to exploit the difference in pressure between the end of the blood capillaries and surrounding tissues transferring and equalizing the concentration of metabolites in the PS and in the LI.

Before him, there had patches of sweating, gels, and fluorescent fibers, but all have revealed major shortcomings. Here, thanks to artistic tattoos, colorimetric biosensors detecting the biological activity and inducing a color change correlated at a rate of metabolite in the blood and a smartphone, we will be able to know his blood glucose, its albuminémie and his Blood PH in real-time.


Even if these results are very encouraging, there is a need in the future to assess the immune response in vivo of animals to these systems prior to being able to undertake to test in humans. The scientists conclude that if the safety is demonstrated, this device could be extended to the detection of electrolytes, of specific proteins, pathogenic micro-organisms, gas, and the status of dehydration.

What You Must Remember

  • A technology combining tattoo, colorimetry, and smartphone detects the glucose, albumin and the PH in tissues of swine skin.
  • This technology could be very useful for the monitoring and management of blood parameters in certain diseases.
  • Before starting the tests in humans, there is a need to ensure the safety of the device in animals.

An Electronic Tattoos ultra-thin for the medical surveillance

American researchers have developed an electronic system of epidermal more end that a hair. This stamp transparent to paste on the skin is the bearer of an electronic circuit that would revolutionize the medical surveillance. Explanations. In the United States, a team of researchers and engineers has developed an electronic device ultra-thin which is fixed on the skin in the manner of temporary tattoos. Its capabilities also appear many that unsuspected! This device would prove to be able to measure the heart rate or even to accelerate the healing of a wound.

Welcome to the world of Technological infinitely! The history of this advanced was published last week in the journal Science. The authors, with at their head John Rogers from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), evoke an epidermal Electronic System (SEA), which could be translated into French by electronic system of epidermal. In the facts, it is a sort of stamp ultra-thin and transparent, bearer of an electronic circuit! Researchers there have integrated sensors, transmitters and other receivers of information. All thumbnails of course because the whole is not thicker than… 50 microns. “Even more end that a hair,” they say.

“This device sticks to the skin by simple attraction, without interfering with the Movements,” concatenates Rogers. “It is door as a temporary tattoo”. The researchers were first tested on the arm, neck, the forehead, the plays and the chin of several volunteers. Not only have they observed that it could operate for more than 24 hours but that it is irritating not the skin. For the study, the researchers observed the glucose, the pH value, and the albumin. For example, a low albumin level can be a sign of kidney or liver damage, while high values often to heart problems. Glucose is of relevance for diabetes patients, and a faulty pH-value is an indication for various diseases.

With specially tailored to these biomarkers inks tested the procedure on the researchers not living pigskin. They discovered that the pigment changes, if the concentration of one of the observed characteristics in the colored area. With a special app, you could transform the recorded color effects in numbers. The team of researchers will now test the procedure on living skin. It should be investigated, what reactions the pigments in the functioning of the organism. Whether tattoos at the end actually useful diagnostic can be works of art, but many more studies show, stress the authors.

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Jennifer Parker

Hi, I'm Jennifer, a health and medical blogger who loves nature and loves to listen to classical music, I hope you enjoy what I write.

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