Nanoparticle tattoo to monitor health

Diabetes is a common disease with all age group, and despite decades of medical advancement, measuring accurately the glucose level in the human body is still a problem because it involves the daily task of pricking their fingers to check glucose levels.
Sensing system
MIT researchers have reported about a sensing system that consists of a “tattoo” of nanoparticles injected below the skin to detect glucose. The device can be worn over the tattoo to clearly display glucose level. The tattoo material consists of carbon nanotubes which are injected under the skin. Nanotubes are wrapped in glucose-responsive polymers and when the polymers encounter blood sugar, they cause the nanotubes to flash light. The sensor recognizes this flashed light with near-infrared detection. Nanotubes are unique resilient to light exposure and hence the device can provide constant information on blood glucose level without damaging the particles.
Nanoparticle solution
Adding functionality to body art, researchers at Northeastern University have developed a nanoparticle solution which, when injected into the skin and scanned by an iPhone, can reveal the inner workings of the body. Based on how the nanoparticles behave, an athlete can determine his sodium levels and the likelihood of dehydration mid-game. Within seconds, the blood-oxygen content of an anemic patient could be also be analyzed by a doctor.
Tattoo ink
Researchers at Charles Stark Draper Laboratories in Boston, USA have developed a unique tattoo ink for diabetics that changes color depending on glucose concentrations in the body and would allow continuous monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Originally conceived to monitor blood sodium levels for the treatment of heart problems and dehydration, the tattoo ink is made up of tiny porous nanoparticles, which are just 120 nanometres across. Each nanoparticle contains both molecules that detect glucose and a color-changing dye. The glucose-sensitive ink would need to be injected into surface layers of the skin, but the tattoo would only need to be a few millimeters in size. The ink can be reapplied regularly to avoid the problem like with regular tattoos.


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