Temporary tattoos are more popular than they have ever been with the likes of Rihanna and Beyonce launching their own temporary art designs.
But temporary tattoos are not just limited to the world of fashion! In fact scientist John Rogers, from the University of Illinois, is leading the way in merging the world of science with the world of temporary tattoos. Rogers has spent years researching and working on series of flexible and super-thin electronics that can be applied to the skin to monitor a persons health. Due to the nature of the electronics and the way it is applied to the skin, being unnoticeable to the wearer, the monitor has been called an electronic tattoo!!
The electronic tattoo is applied to the skin much like any temporary tattoo, but what it actually does is truly remarkable. Containing a hypersensitive thermometer the device monitors a persons temperature and blood flow over long periods of time and through daily activities without it moving around on the skin. For people who can't properly control their body temperatures the electronic tattoo could prove life changing!! The device would allow a physician to know what is occurring in the persons body by recording how heat flows through the bloodstream or how blood-vessels respond to the heat around them. According to Rogers the heat sensing tattoo could be a major tool in monitoring and recording a persons cardiovascular health.
"It’s kind of the next-generation wearable technology – technology that by virtue of its intimate contact with the skin could provide clinical-quality data,” Like a temporary tattoo the wearable electronics developed by Rogers is applied to the skin using a water-soluble glue and moves and stretches with the body. Looking as if it has come straight out the Matrix the electronic tattoo is composed of liquid crystals that change color with temperature and when placed on the body will stay for two weeks, roughly the same time as most temporary tattoos!!
A wearable thermometer placed on the skin however is only the beginning!! Rogers and his team are now researching and experimenting on finding an application for the technology on internal organs. For Rogers; "Skin is a starting point"...
Who knows, in the next few years health monitoring abilities could be the standard practice for temporary tattoos!!