Nanoparticle Based Tattoos Help in Diagnosing Chronic Diseases
There will come a time when all medical conditions of a patient will be updated 24X7. But, for this to work, every person has to wear something that tracks all the body chemical imbalances, chronic diseases, diabetes, heart rates, glucose levels, and so on. Heather Clark, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the Northeastern University, has developed a new type of tattoo embedded with nanoparticles. The tattoo is inked with conductive or fluorescent materials, which makes the diagnosis much easier due to its light weight and small size.
Heather was able to produce an invisible nanoparticle tattoo that had the property of fluorescing in a certain light. With this tattoo inked on to the skin, she was able to track the person’s sodium and glucose levels in the blood.
The nanoparticle is made of 120 nanometers wide nanodroplets mixed with a fluorescent dye and sensor molecules that bind to certain special chemicals. The light used to produce the fluorescing property is made by adding a filter on to an i-Phone. This makes more number of molecules to get a stronger fluorescence. A photo of the fluorescence was taken with the i-Phone camera, and biomarker levels were calculated by analyzing it with a computer. Heather hopes to slowly design an i-Phone application that will be able to read the output.
If this technology is properly developed, there will be no more need of injecting syringes for drawing blood, and expensive tests. As tattoos are equally painful, the researchers are trying to divert the same technology into simple skin plants.