Tattoos have represented many things throughout human history, but they have only been just that, a symbol. But with today’s modern tech, Graphene has made it possible for your tattoo to do so much more than looking good on your skin.
Because graphene is so versatile, flexible, and conductive of electricity and heat, it can be used in a wide range of situations, specifically medical applications. Graphene tattoos may be the next revolutionary medical invention that could make health-tracking easier than ever. Researchers have made ultra-thin tattoos made from graphene that functions like wearable electronic devices.
Nanshu Lu and Deji Akinwande, researchers at the University of Texas, are already leading a project that will change the way patients are examined in the future. They have developed a method for making graphene electrodes that can be applied to the skin like a temporary tattoo. This technique can take the place of traditional biomedical wearables and provide higher quality data about the electrical activity of the brain, heart, and muscles.
The device is called GET (Graphene Electrical Tattoo) and it’s also capable of measuring the temperature and level of hydration of the skin. Different from other wearables, these ultra-thin tattoos conform to the skin, unlike larger and clumsier electronics. This offers higher-quality sensing with less vulnerability to outside factors, which is one the biggest drawbacks of conventional sensors and electrodes for physiological measurements. There is also no need for straps, paste, or gel which other wearables require for their electrodes to work.
The electrical tattoo can be applied to the skin with water and they are extremely comfortable. After a few days of use, they are easily removed with a piece of adhesive tape.
According to the researchers, the GET works for about three days and the cost and production time is promised to be much lower than the materials the industry currently uses. This way, the device can replace many bulky medical devices that patients need to use on a daily basis.