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Brief Published: 5 Apr 2013

Bio-Circuits: Electronic Temporary Tattoos


A team of scientists at US-based body tech research firm MC10 has developed flexible electronic circuits that can be worn as temporary tattoos on the skin. The tattoos – which are made from silicon and can last up to two weeks before rubbing off – can be used to monitor temperature, hydration and strain.

Based on research by MC10 co-founder and materials scientist John Rogers from the University of Illinois, the biostamp could be used to monitor patients, removing the need to attach them to bulky machines for long periods of time. The patch could also be used to maintain optimum hydration levels for athletes or measure UV levels to protect against sun damage.

Ben Schlatka, MC10’s co-founder and vice-president of business development, told US publication Material Futures: “We are trying to reshape electronics into different forms, allowing the industry a new paradigm of design freedom.”

Wearable technology is fast becoming a huge industry, with potential applications across the medical, technology, beauty, sports and military sectors. Consumer-facing products such as Nike’s Fuelband and Jawbone’s Up have enjoyed commercial success, while research into body-hacking technologies gathers pace. To learn more, see Tech Body Modification, Wearable Tech and The Datasexual.

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