Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

High-tech tattoo may alert user of sickness

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A new high tech tattoo may just save your life the next time you fall ill. Woven of gold and silk, a temporary skin embossing could detect things like bacterial infections - and then alert others to your infirmity. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "tat" comes embedded with antennae that would wirelessly alert nearby computers to your illness and help you receive prompt medical attention.

The brainchild of Princeton professor Michael McAlpine, the boffin received a grant through his university to further his research and make antenna tattoos a reality.

The professor says he got the idea while reading about a woman who suddenly had an asthma attack at a grocery store. "She couldn't breathe enough to tell first-responders what was wrong, but she had a tattoo on her arm that said she had asthma," McAlpine told reporters. "I thought, if she can have a passive tattoo that says 'I have asthma,' why not have an active tattoo that can continuously track your health?"

McAlpine's hopes that with his fresh grant funding that he will be able to begin testing his invention in hospitals. He also hopes to lengthen the time the tattoo's antenna, which can wash off with water, will stay on the body.

It's not the first time McAlpine has thought up novel ways to detect disease in the body.

Last year, he and his team of researchers reported they'd found a way to test's one's breath for evidence of disease.

In that experiment, he placed a super thin form of carbon called "graphene" along with disease sensing peptides on a strip and "tattooing" it onto teeth, they were able to detect infection and transit the data it to medical personnel.

McAlpine and his team have now taken their "tooth tattoo" a step further and are exploring new and more innovative ways to put their research to use.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)