Collaboration with Katia Vega, Viirj Kan, Nick Barry
Harvard Medical School: Nan Jiang, Ali Yetisen
Can tattoos embrace technology in order to make the skin interactive?
The Dermal Abyss presents a novel approach to biointerfaces in which the body surface is rendered an interactive display. Traditional tattoo inks were replaced with biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry.
We developed four biosensors, reacting to three biochemical information in body fluid and changes colors: The pH sensor changes between purple and pink, the glucose sensor shifts between blue and brown; the sodium and a second pH sensor fluoresce at a higher intensity under UV light.
The Dermal Abyss creates a direct access to the compartments in the body and reflects inner metabolic processes in a shape of a tattoo. It could be used for applications in continuously monitoring such as medical diagnostics, quantified self, and data encoding in the body.
Preliminary evaluation was done in an ex vivo pig skin model.Several injections in the skin were done in order to understand the visibility and functionality of the biosensors.
PH sensing: high value
PH sensing: low value
In the same way that the wearables industry is integrating fashion practices in their development, we envision new partnerships between the biotech companies and skin professionals, such as prosthesis experts and tattooists, in order to embrace the idea of human-device symbiosis.
Music: Maribel Tafur
Voice Over: Penny Webb