- Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -
New Nanoparticle Tattoos Can Monitor Glucose Levels in Diabetics
Posted By Sarah Parsons On June 2, 2010 @ 12:00 pm In Design for Health | 7 Comments
For some people, staying healthy could require getting some ink. Researchers at MIT recently created a new type of tattoo  designed for folks living with diabetes. Once injected, the nanoparticle ink  can consistently measure glucose levels in the bloodstream, alerting patients if their blood sugar levels fall outside the normal range.
We’ve seen similar tattoo technology from a different lab covered before on Ecouterre , and now we’re excited to see that MIT is getting in on the action – tattoos such as these  offer a huge advance in glucose-level monitoring. Typically, diabetics need to prick their fingers several times a day in order to monitor blood sugar levels. Not only is this method a nuisance, it’s not entirely effective: By not consistently tracking glucose, diabetics can miss the moment when blood sugar levels start to change, like after eating. While some constant monitors exist, they’re not approved for long-term use.
To create the blood sugar-reading ink , scientists used nanotubes wrapped in a glucose-sensitive polymer. After the ink is injected beneath the surface of the skin, the nano-ink seeks out glucose  and fluoresces when it detects it. A separate device kind of like a wristwatch provides near-infrared to read the fluorescing (kind of like a secret decoder ring), and allows users to track rising and falling glucose levels.
While all this is pretty fascinating, it gets better: Wearers aren’t stuck with the same tattoo for life. The nano-ink  starts to disappear after about six months, when patients will need to be re-injected with the ink.
Via Popular Science 
Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/new-nanoparticle-tattoos-can-constantly-monitor-glucose-levels-in-diabetics/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/02/new-nanoparticle-tattoos-can-constantly-monitor-glucose-levels-in-diabetics/tattoo-2/
 MIT : http://web.mit.edu/
 new type of tattoo: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-06/nano-ink-tattoos-could-continuously-monitor-glucose-diabetics
 nanoparticle ink: http://www.ecouterre.com/17409/prescription-tattoos-could-monitor-blood-glucose-levels-in-diabetics/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/02/new-nanoparticle-tattoos-can-constantly-monitor-glucose-levels-in-diabetics/tattoo/
 glucose: http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/18/first-glucose-biofuel-cell-paves-way-for-body-powered-electronics/
Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.