Stories tagged tattoos

Oct
05
2011

Let’s be honest with ourselves: who doesn’t love a good temporary tattoo? There’s something glorious in that Flexible Electronics: A newly developed stick-on tattoo with integrated sensor technology, prior to application (from reverse).
Flexible Electronics: A newly developed stick-on tattoo with integrated sensor technology, prior to application (from reverse).Courtesy J. Rogers, University of Illinois
small square of paper promising instant, kid-appropriate street-cred; in the anticipation that builds with the 60 agonizing seconds it takes to hold a wet washcloth against your upper arm until you can’t stand it anymore and just have to peek.

Now what if, embedded in your two-day skull and crossbones, there was a computer? One that was soft and pliable and thinner than a strand of hair, and gave your doctor data about your heart function, brain waves, and muscle activity?

Well, wonder no longer, because now it’s possible with the help/distribution of a company called mc10. Will the wonders of nanotechnology never cease?:

According to a recent article by the National Science Foundation: “One of the advantages of the newly created epidermal electronic systems is easy on / easy off application. As this video shows, the electronics have the right physical properties--such as stiffness, bending rigidity, thickness and mass density--to perfectly match to the epidermis.Flexible Electronics, part 2: When compressed and pulled, the epidermal electronics device conforms with the skin, remaining in place and intact.
Flexible Electronics, part 2: When compressed and pulled, the epidermal electronics device conforms with the skin, remaining in place and intact.Courtesy J. Rogers, University of Illinois
The systems seamlessly integrate and conform to the surface of the skin in a way that is mechanically invisible to the user, and the devices have the potential to provide a range of healthcare and non-healthcare related functions.”

Anyone else’s Hey!-Wait-Just-a-Minute Alarm go off on “non-healthcare related functions?” A temporary Flexible Electronics, part 3: The undulating wiring developed by the research teams which enables electronics strength and flexibility despite small size.
Flexible Electronics, part 3: The undulating wiring developed by the research teams which enables electronics strength and flexibility despite small size.Courtesy J. Rogers, University of Illinois
tattoo/computer tasked with non-healthcare related functions like what, exactly? Curious.

On the up-side, it appears that there might be some fascinating future uses. Again, the National Science Foundation: “The researchers are also exploring clinical approaches, particularly for ailments where sensor size is critical, such as sleep apnea and neonatal care.

“Much further into the future, the researchers hope to incorporate microfluidic devices into their technology, opening up a new arena of electronic bandages and enhanced-functioning skin, potentially accelerating wound healing or treating burns and other skin conditions.”

Mmmmmmm….enhanced-functioning skin….