Not quite on the same level of shock value as Anthony Antonellis “digital” RFID tattoo experiment, there’s a new experimental “electronic tattoo” that is making waves in the world of medicine with more practical application. While thermometers have existed unaltered for decades, this new wearable sensor can provide much more detailed information about the physiological state of the specimen.
John Rogers, researcher at the University of Illinois, has been experimenting with ultra thin, water soluble, flexible electronic circuits that contain a hypersensitive thermometer that tracks the flow of heat through the bloodstream over long periods of time, providing vital health information. With the information that the sensor provides, physicians will be able to know exactly what is going on in specific locations of the body, under the skin, and can do wonders to cardiovascular health research.
Aesthetically, the microsensor looks like a small, gold barcode and is applied to the skin with water soluble glue. Able to precisely measure temperature to a millikelvin and hydration at any given spot on the skins surface, the stamp reports its findings to a computer, but it is still in its research phases with many more advancements to come.
The future remains uncertain but hopeful with the possibilities of this new technology. Roger’s team of researchers is looking into how this same “tattoo” can be applied to internal organs, such as the interior lining of the heart, to deliver the most precise details for more complicated procedures. Of course, this isn’t what we would traditionally refer to as a tattoo as it is painless and not permanent, but it is amazing to see the technological advancements in progress in regards to our skin.
For more information, read The Verge’s full article.