Tattooing can now have new applications as dermal sensing tattoos come to the fore. Scientists have found new ways of blending dermal sensors with artistic tattoos. The scientists used colorimetric analytic formulation instead of tattoo ink to build skin-responsive sensors. A team of scientists based in Germany worked on the development of these tattoos. Angewandte Chemie journal published the findings of the research. The analytic sensors embedded in tattoos can help in determining the pH level of the blood. This can in turn help in gauging other health indicators for individuals.
Role of Dermal Layer
The dermis of the skin plays an integral role in determining the pH levels of the blood. The dermis hosts blood vessels, nerves, and follicles. The layer of the dermis is around 1-millimeter in thickness. The ink of dermal sensing tattoos penetrates into the dermis to determine the pH level.
The color of the tattoo changes when the pH level in the blood starts to vary. Hence, the utility of dermal tattoos is expected to keep increasing in the years to come. The uppermost layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis, plays a key role in pH determination. The pigment from the tattoo stains the skin, which helps in determining the level of pH.
Action of Dermal Tattoos
The needle of dermal tattoos pierces through the epidermis in order to test the blood pH levels. One of the lead researchers believes that the new method can help in tracking metabolic changes. Moreover, this technique can help in eliminating spatial deviations in diagnosis. Bromothymol blue, methyl red, and phenolphthalein were blended to form dermal sensing tattoos. The researchers tested the effectiveness of these tattoos on a patch of pig skin.
It would be important to see the response of other dermatologists with regard to this research. The scientists are working on developing models for determination of body glucose levels.