‘Smart Tattoos’ Could Someday Monitor Your Vitals — No Batteries Required

Long known as a permanent form of body art, tattoos may soon serve a medical function.

Several groups of scientists are developing sensors that can be injected into the skin to monitor levels of blood glucose and other health biomarkers.

A team at the Technical University of Munich in Germany identified three chemical sensors that change color in response to biomarkers — glucose, albumin, or pH — in the fluids between the body’s cells.

One chemical sensor turns green in the presence of albumin. Decreasing levels of this protein may indicate kidney or liver failure.

Another sensor changes from yellow to dark green as the glucose level increases. High glucose level is a sign of poorly managed diabetes.

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