Friday December 8, 2017
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A custom 3D printer was used to print out layers of ink on a transparent elastomer patch, creating a tattoo in the shape of a tree. — Screen capture via Reuters videoA custom 3D printer was used to print out layers of ink on a transparent elastomer patch, creating a tattoo in the shape of a tree. — Screen capture via Reuters videoMASSACHUSETTS, Dec 8 — A team at MIT have successfully created the world’s first living tattoo, using ink made from live bacteria.

According to MIT News, engineers programmed bacterial cells to light up in response to different chemicals, then mixed them with hydrogel and cell-feeding nutrients to form a bio ink.

A custom 3D printer was used to print out layers of ink on a transparent elastomer patch, creating a tattoo in the shape of a tree.

When the patch is placed over skin that had been exposed to the chemical stimuli, the bacteria sensed the chemicals and caused branches of the tree tattoo to light up.

The living tattoo has numerous applications, and can be used to sense pollutants in the environment, or detect changes in body temperature and pH.

In the future, the team says their creation can be used to create drug capsules that produce and release compounds such as glucose therapeutically, over time. It may even be used to create living computers. — Reuters

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