These Tattoos Change Colors When Reacting With Glucose Levels

Image credit – Yetisen et al., Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2019

The thing with diabetics is that they need to constantly be aware of their glucose levels to ensure that it doesn’t get too high. This means that throughout the day, they might need to take blood tests which can be rather invasive and troublesome, but it seems that over in Germany, scientists might have found an alternative in the form of tattoos.

The scientists have managed to develop an actual tattoo whose ink can change colors based on the person’s glucose levels. It can also react to other biomarkers such as albumin or pH levels. This means that if you’re a diabetic and want to check your glucose levels, a quick glance at the tattoo will show you all you need to know.

That being said, the tattoos have yet to be tested on humans and so far have only been tried out on pig skin. According to the researchers, “Body modification by injecting pigments into the dermis layer is a custom more than 4000 years old. Here, a functional cosmetic technology was developed by combining tattoo artistry and colorimetric biosensors… Dermal tattoo sensors functioned as diagnostic displays by exhibiting colour changes within the visible spectrum in response to variations in pH, glucose, and albumin concentrations.”

Whether or not this will become an actual thing that people can go for remains to be seen, but in the meantime, companies such as Apple have been working on ways to create a non-invasive way of measuring blood sugar levels through devices like the Apple Watch.

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