Electric Tattoo. Tattoos are a type of artistic creation that is performed somewhere on the body, permanently. The design is done with needles that inject black or colored inks into the skin.
Within the world of tattoos there are constant advances and designs to show off a better drawing on your dermis, such as pigmentation with white ink or sunburn tattoo, the new trend that could put your health at risk.
Electric Tattoo high technology
But apparently, classic techniques are lagging behind, thanks to new tattoos that can be illuminated with electricity. Butterflies, dragons, letters, signs and more are the designs that are usually seen on people’s skin, but can you imagine an electric tattoo that radiates light?
Engineers at Duke University in the United States created a direct electronic printing technique for paper and even for the skin, giving opportunity to a new type of tattoos that are illuminated with electricity.
Duke Engineering Doctors Aaron Franklin, Shiheng Lu and Nick Williams devised a printing technique that is gentle enough to work on delicate surfaces such as paper and human skin.
This advancement will allow technologies such as high adherence, embedded electric tattoo and bandages designed with biosensors, for patients who need it.
This technique contains an ink made from silver nanowires, which can be attached to any surface with a spray printer. The ink maintains its conductivity through a thin film, without the need for further processing.
The printer places a semiconductor strip of carbon nanotubes. Then, two nanowires are printed that will perform the illuminate function.
Once printed, the ink dries in about two minutes. However, for printing to be truly useful and functional, it is important that the entire design or image is printed in one step.
This video shows how the impression on the little finger is connected with a small LED light. By applying a voltage to the initial part of the nanowires, there is a reaction that allows the LED to stay on.
According to an article published by Duke University, this technique is not intended to replace large-scale electronics manufacturing processes. However, its developers do see potential for rapid prototyping or in situations where one-size-fits-all or low-demand printing is required, especially in biomedical applications:
“Think about creating custom bandages that contain electronic components like biosensors, where a nurse can simply walk to a workstation and mark what features are needed for a specific patient.”
In addition to being considered for medical use, some other applications that are attributed to it is the performance of electrical tattoos.
These types of electronic devices go towards commercialization; however, Duke researchers are still working on them to refine them, so there is no sale date yet.
Meanwhile, you can start thinking about the design you would like to do with this new way of making tattoos. Would you like to have tattoos with light?.