Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Temporary Tattoo Testing
20 January 2015

Temporary Tattoo Testing

This temporary tattoo may be the future of glucose testing for people with diabetes. Made from a tiny network of electrodes printed on temporary tattoo paper, the stick-on gizmo measures glucose level in the fluid between skin cells. A very mild electrical current applied to the skin for 10 minutes forces sodium ions to migrate toward the tattoo’s electrodes. These ions carry glucose that is measured using a sensor built into the tattoo. Lasting a day, the device could also be used to detect other important metabolites in the body or deliver medicine through the skin. The researchers say that this will mean people with diabetes won’t have to go through the unpleasant process of using a tiny needle to extract a small blood sample. In the future, the tattoo will send the data directly to the patient’s doctor or store it in the cloud.

Written by Nick Kennedy

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