Not your average medical tattoo

jb7i-untitled-image This photo comes from the vaults of BME and included no submission details but I thought it made a nice lead in to the following news story: Nano Ink “Tattoo” Could Monitor Diabetes. It’s a really cool idea and I know diabetes touches the lives of many people, myself included as my father is an insulin dependent diabetic. It’s almost like those old hyper colour shirts (anyone remember those?) only it detects glucose levels and it’s a tattoo!

8 thoughts on “Not your average medical tattoo

  1. thats a pretty awesome idea to be honest. lets hope they can work out kinks and such and get it made!

    i also love this tattoo :)

  2. “It would only have to be a few millimeters in size and wouldn’t have to go as deep as a normal tattoo.” So it would just fall out? Skeptical.

  3. Since it doesn’t go as deep as a normal tattoo, wouldn’t it have to be redone every month or so as the skin renews itself?

  4. Whether it would need to be redone often or not… Getting it redone every couple of months is a LOT better than pricking your own fingers multiple times a day.

  5. Abstract:
    “We have designed fluorescent nanosensors based on ion-selective optodes capable of detecting small molecules. By localizing the sensor components in a hydrophobic core, these nanosensors are able to monitor dynamic changes in concentration of the model analyte, glucose. The nanosensors demonstrated this response in vitro and also when injected subcutaneously into mice. The response of the nanosensors tracked changes in blood glucose levels in vivo that were comparable to measurements taken using a glucometer. The development of these nanosensors offers an alternative, minimally invasive tool for monitoring glucose levels in such fields as diabetes research. Furthermore, the extension of the ion-selective optode sensor platform to small molecule detection will allow for enhanced monitoring of physiological processes.”

    Presumably it would have to be re-calibrated regularly. Most continuous glucose monitoring systems require a finger stick once or twice a day. The bulk of them are only intended to be kept in for about three to five days- or just long enough to give really accurate measurements in relation to the patient’s logged activities. If this pans out we could have realtime measurements with immediate dosing and control for many more patients. And all without risking increased infections, sensation loss, etc.

    It looks like Dr. Clark is now working on Nitric Oxide sensors for people with high blood pressure and heart problems. She’s already pulled in several million in funding and is making some exciting steps toward diminishing disease! More power to her!

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