Color-changing Tattoo For Diabetics Might Change Things

Color-changing tattoos that react to changing blood sugar levels could become a new way to monitor glucose levels. The team have developed inks that react to blood salt levels, pH, and glucose levels. The glucose-sensing ink changes from blue to brown when blood sugar goes up and back to blue when it sinks again.

This can become an "interactive display," the ink's developers say, allowing diabetics and others to know when blood sugar levels are too low or too high. The real-time color-changing is an immediate response to current blood glucose levels and could be faster and easier to use than skin prick tests.

The MIT team behind the inks has been developing tattoo inks for a myriad of uses.

The team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed inks that react to the interstitial fluids which surround tissue cells in the body. These fluids conduct various things from one cell to another and quickly reflect changes in the body. Inks from the development team can react to changing acidity (pH) levels, changing from pink to purple. They also have salt-sensing inks which track sodium levels and shift to an intense green under UV light when salt levels are high.

The MIT team says that their tattoo inks are only at a "proof of concept" stage, but say that they could offer new ways of monitoring changes in the body. The research could eventually lead to an easier way for diabetics and others to monitor their treatment and health. Diabetics could, for example, use a perfected form of the ink to more easily and accurately read their body's current glucose levels and better dose their insulin to match.

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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