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Nanotech tattoo as health monitoring device

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    12th Aug, 2022

Context:

Researchers in South Korea have developed an electronic tattoo ink made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes that functions as a bio-electrode.

About:

  • The device could be used to send readout of the wearer's vital signs if connected to biosensors, including for instance an electrocardiogram.
  • Alongside heart rates it could be used to read glucose or lactate levels for people with diabetes or sepsis.
  • The monitors could in theory be located anywhere, including in patients' homes.

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About Bioelectrodes and Biosensors

  • Bioelectrodes are sensors used to transmit information into or out of the body and are mainly applied in cardiology and neurology applications.
  • Surface or transcutaneous electrodes used to monitor or measure electrical events in the body.
  • A biosensor uses biological molecules, tissues, organisms to measure chemical or biochemical concentrations. Biosensors can be used in many medical and non-medical applications.
  • Biomedical sensors detect simple physical parameters like blood pressure or temperature to blood glucose.
  • Biosensors works by changing the pH, ions, blood gases (O2, CO2 and etc.), drugs, hormones, proteins, viruses, bacteria, tumors and etc.

The Electronic Tattoo:

  • The electronic tattoo ink is made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes that can deliver vital body information.
  • The ink is non-invasive and made from particles based on gallium, a soft, silvery metal also used in semiconductors or in thermometers.
  • Platinum-decorated carbon nanotubes help conduct electricity while providing durability.
  • When it is applied to the skin, even with rubbing the tattoo doesn’t come off, this is not possible with just liquid metal.
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