- MIT Engineers 3D Print a Living Tattoo for the First Time Using Living Ink That Reacts to Environment
Engineers at MIT have come up with a 3D printing technique that emblazons a live tattoo on any surface of the human body. The special ink cartridge used in the 3D printing process contains live cells that have been genetically coded. These cells are programmed to emit light upon being stimulated.
The mixture harboring the cells also contains hydrogel and a number of nutrients. These cells are printed onto the skin’s surface in such a way that they form interlocking layers. These in turn create devices and structures that are not only three-dimensional but interactive as well.
The group of engineers printed a living tattoo which consisted of a slight, translucent patch with bacterial cells shaped in a tree-like diagram. Each ramification of this tree-like patch responds to chemicals or molecules since it contains highly sensitive cells.
When this patch is emblazoned on skin that contains the same compounds and chemicals, the tree-like figure lights up immediately in response.
This technique can be employed to make charged stuff that is usable in case of sensors and wearables not to mention display units that you can manipulate.
The living cells combine with the materials to allow for the early detection of chemicals in the environment. Any pollutants and rise or fall in acid-base balance not to mention temperature can be gauged in a twinkle of an eye.
The team of engineers even made a model of this type that could gauge interactions of cells within the 3D printed structure. A large variety of materials have been used in recent years for these live cell inks.
From polymers that respond to heat and light all the way upto genetically engineered materials that have unique properties have been used in the quest to outdo the very concept of progress itself. This sort of 3D ink could not only be used in tattoos but in the bionic computers of the future as well.
The findings of this research got published in the journal Advanced Materials.
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