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Beauty Technology : Color-Changing Tattoos with Biosensors

MIT Media Lab’s Project The Dermal Abyss has created new forms of tattoo ink which incorporate three types of biosensors. Once the tattoo is applied it can monitor blood sugar, sodium or pH levels by changing colors.

The Dermal Abyss presents a novel approach to biointerfaces in which the body surface is rendered an interactive display. Traditional tattoo inks were replaced with biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry. We developed four biosensors, reacting to three biochemical information in body fluid and changes colors: 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.


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