Gallery: New Nanoparticle Tattoos Can Monitor Glucose Levels in Diabeti...


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


or your inhabitat account below


  1. creina barclay January 18, 2014 at 9:39 am

    this is a wonderful idea, more information please, where I can get the tattoo & the price please.

  2. Fudd022009 April 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Where do you have to go to get that type of tattoo done.

  3. nbelinda October 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    When and where is this being done? I am very interested!

  4. Inspiring Green Technol... September 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    […] have forever had to deal with the uncomfortable, but unavoidable need to monitor their own glucose levels by drawing blood. Lucky for them, the Glucowizzard may have eliminated much of the discomfort […]

  5. wgill June 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    how do you get this and how much does it cost

  6. anomis June 6, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    thank god I’m sick of pricking my fingers. does it work with type 1?

  7. ee June 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

    hehe !

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home