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The Silicon Review Asia

South Korea develops a health monitoring device using nanotech tattoo

South Korea develops a health monitoring device using nanotech tattoo

In the future, the hope is to connect a wireless chip integrated with this ink

South Koreans may soon carry a device inside their own bodies in the form of a tattoo that automatically alerts them towards potential health problems. Scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the city of Daejeon, Seoul, created an electronic tattoo ink made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes that acts as a bioelectrode. Attached to an electrocardiogram (ECG) device or other biosensors, it can send a report of a patient's vital signs like heart rate and other vital signs such as glucose and lactate to a monitor. The researchers aim to be able to dispense with biosensors eventually.

In the future, the hope is to connect a wireless chip integrated with this ink so that it can be used to communicate or send a signal back and forth between our bodies to an external device said. Such monitors could, in theory, be located anywhere, including in a patient's home. The ink is made from particles based on gallium, which is a silvery soft metal also used in semiconductors or in thermometers and is non-invasive. Platinum-decorated carbon nanotubes conduct electricity while providing durability. When this is applied to the skin, it does not come off even after rubbing the tattoo.

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