The same lab that first brought us stick-on electronic tattoos has developed a more permanent version that can be printed directly onto the skin.
Created by the Rogers research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the tattoos lack the polymer backing of the temporary versions and are instead printed directly onto the skin. The new tattoos are also 1/30th the thickness of the original version and better able to follow the contours of the skin. Once the tattoo has been printed on the skin it is coated with a commercially available spray-on bandage, which protects the tattoo for about two weeks before the skin’s natural exfoliation causes it to flake away.
Ultimately the goal of the team is to create simple computers in the form of tattoos that could help track healing after surgery, monitor heart rate during exercise or interact with other wearable computers and sensors.
Image: A colorized micrograph of an ultrathin mesh electronic system mounted on a skin replica
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