The 3D-printed ‘living’ tattoo that could enable next generation wearable sensors

MIT 3D printing cells living tattoo

The last couple of years have seen an acceleration in the use of 3D printing techniques, from the US launch of the first 3D printed prescription medicine to advances in producing human organs and prosthetic legs.

Techniques continue to be refined all the time, and this month MIT engineers marked another first, creating a ‘living tattoo’ from a new kind of ink that’s made from genetically programmed living cells.

It was used to create the transparent patch shown above, each branch of the tree-shaped tattoo is made up of cells that light up in response to particular chemical or molecular compounds.

The MIT researchers behind the work say the technique may enable the production of new ‘active’ materials for wearable sensors and interactive displays.

 

You can read more about the work here, and the research behind it is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

HT: @LionelREICHARDT

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