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A tattoo that monitors health? It is already possible in South Korea • ENTER.CO

Tattoo nanotechnological, this is how the development of new technology is known that would allow monitoring some health indicators through a tattoo. This novelty is in testing, but it could soon be a reality for South Koreans who want to get a tattoo.

The main novelty is that this tattoo can have the shape you want. But, in addition, it is capable of automatically alerting about possible health problems that the person with the tattoo has. The secret of this tattoo is in its ink. To do this, researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in southwest Seoul developed an electronic ink that is composed of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes that works as a bioelectrode. This is key to its operation because this ink is what allows the tattoo to be connected to an electrocardiogram with which various health indicators can be measured.

In this way, a reading of things such as a patient’s heart rate and other vital signs, such as glucose and lactate, can be sent to a monitor. The goal is that biosensors can be dispensed with in the near future. It is expected that in the future it can be connected to a wireless chip and thus be able to send the signals to an external device. These reading monitors could be anywhere, even in the person’s home.

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It is important that this type of ink that they have developed is non-invasive and is made of gallium, a soft silvery metal that is used as part of semiconductors or in thermometers. Platinum-decorated carbon nanotubes help conduct electricity and provide durability. When applied to the skin it is not possible to erase the tattoo, this is not possible with liquid metal alone.

Image: Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash

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