The incredible colour changing tattoos that monitor the blood sugar levels of people with diabetes in real-time
Researchers have developed a biosensing tattoo ink that reacts to sugar in the blood to help diabetics control their conditions.
The colour-changing ink turns the body's surface into an 'interactive display' to alert diabetics when their blood sugar is too low or high.
When blood sugar goes up, the glucose sensing ink changes from blue to brown in real-time, a colour change that reverses when blood sugar drops.
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The ink senses changes to the body's interstitial fluid - the liquid that surrounds tissue cells in the body.
If blood sugar is low, it changes from brown to blue, and if high, it changes from blue to brown.
The tattoos could one day act as a non-invasive method for diabetics to control their condition.
The ink acts as a biosensor that reads interstitial fluids - the liquids that surround tissue cells in the body.
Other biosensing tattoo inks developed by the team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, monitor the body's salt and pH levels.
The salt sensing inks, which track the mineral by measuring sodium levels, fluoresce under UV light, shifting to an intense green when high salt levels are detected.
The pH sensing inks respond to alkalinity and change from pink to purple as it increases.
The researchers suggest that their tattoo inks, which they say are currently just at the 'proof of concept' stage, could offer new ways of monitoring the body.
For diabetics, the glucose sensing ink provides a way to track blood sugar levels without having to prick the skin and take a blood sample every few hours.
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