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Skin & Tech Tattoos

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Stretchy Solar Cells Power "Super Skin" The "super skin" developed by Stanford University researcher Zhenan Bao is self-powering, using polymer solar cells to generate electricity. The solar cells are not just flexible, but stretchable — they can be stretched up to 30 percent beyond their original length and snap back without any damage or loss of power. "With artificial skin, we can basically incorporate any function we desire," says Bao, a professor of chemical engineering, who presented her work on Feb. 20 at the AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C. "That is why I call our skin 'super skin.' It is much more than what we think of as normal skin.

" The foundation for the artificial skin is a flexible organic transistor, made with flexible polymers and carbon-based materials. To sense a particular biological molecule, the surface of the transistor has to be coated with another molecule to which the first one will bind when it comes into contact. The same approach would allow the sensors to detect chemicals, she said. Electronic Tattoo-Like Devices Monitor Brain, Heart and Muscles. We might one day be able to monitor our bodies' internal functions — and prevent things like epileptic seizures before they happen — using a flexible circuit attached to the surface of skin. The National Science Foundation announced Monday that researchers are working on a prototype tattoo-like device that can detect heart, muscle and brain activity.

Tiny curly wires in a flexible membrane make up these devices and work better than conventional hard, brittle circuits, because body tissue itself is soft and pliable. "We're trying to bridge that gap, from silicon, wafer-based electronics to biological, 'tissue-like' electronics, to really blur the distinction between electronics and the body," said materials scientist John Rogers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "As the skin moves and deforms, the circuit can follow those deformations in a completely noninvasive way. " SEE ALSO: Artificial Super-Skin Could Transform Phones, Robots and Artificial Limbs [via CNET] Under the skin implants are the future? We read about how a man actually implanted magnets under his skin so that he can mount the iPod nano without the need for those arm-band types – which is a grotesque idea for some.

However, he might have a point in how the future of consumer electronics work – including the idea of implanting buttons right there and then in your arm, located just below your skin. Researchers at Autodesk, a software company in Toronto, Canada, did a quick check around to see whether the kind of methods we employ at the moment to interface with our gadgets will function nicely when the device is implanted in human tissue, and received a resounding “yes” in the process. It seemed that a button, an LED and a touch sensor did not malfunction at all, when it was embedded under the skin of a cadaver’s arm. Not only that, the team managed to communicate transcutaneously thanks to a Bluetooth connection as well as being able to juice up the electronics wirelessly. . The story was spotted on. Artificial Super-Skin Could Transform Phones, Robots and Artificial Limbs.

Touch sensitivity on gadgets and robots is nothing new. A few strategically placed sensors under a flexible, synthetic skin and you have pressure sensitivity. Add a capacitive, transparent screen to a device and you have touch sensitivity. However, Stanford University’s new “super skin” is something special: a thin, highly flexible, super-stretchable, nearly transparent skin that can respond to touch and pressure, even when it’s being wrung out like a sponge. The brainchild of Stanford University Associate Professor of chemical engineering Zhenan Bao, this “super skin” employs a transparent film of spray-on, single-walled carbon nanotubes that sit in a thin film of flexible silicon, which is then sandwiched between more silicon.

SEE ALSO: Humanoid Robot Charges Up, Takes a Load Off [VIDEOS] This unique makeup allows the malleable skin to measure force response even as it’s being stretched, or “squeezed like a sponge.” Tooth tattoos will tell you when you are sick, and what you are suffering from. We’ve seen people get tattooed in some pretty odd places but rarely have we come across tattoos for the teeth, although this time round instead of the tattoo being an expression of art or oneself, it will be used to tell when you are getting sick.

Developed by Mike McAlpine at Princeton, The tattoo will not only be able to tell you when you have fallen ill (although some symptoms are pretty obvious), but will also have the potential to tell you what sort of illness you are suffering from. The tattoo in reality is a sensor made from graphene, a layer of carbon that’s one-atom thick, with carefully constructed peptides (a short sequence of amino acids) placed onto the surface, allowing it to pick up and detect bacteria individually. The sensor can be used in a variety of different settings, such as in a war zone where soldiers can be quickly diagnosed for bacterial infections from wounds, or in hospitals where it can be used to detect bacteria on a variety of different surfaces. .

QR Code Tattoo for the Geek. I don’t know about you, but I have been seeing QR codes, or Quick Response codes, more lately. It’s not like QR codes are something new, but I didn’t really notice them being used a lot till recently. Some people in my circle of friends online even use QR codes for their profile picture. We’ve also heard about the use of QR codes on tombstones in Japan. Now what about getting a QR code tattoo? French tattoo artist K.A.R.L. is supposed to be the first guy ever who takes on the job of tattooing a QR code on another person. The tattoo features a QR code embedded in the middle of flowers and cogs. QR Code Tattoo KARL Now that sketch may not seem much, but after seeing the process (albeit with lots of scenes cut out) and the finished product, one will not be able to help but appreciate the idea. Is it just me or does the guy with the QR code tattoo look like the singing guy in the animation?

Here’s another QR code tattoo, which seems to have been done even before K.A.R.L.’s singing project. Nano Tattoos. Kristi Scott April 16, 2009 Being forgetful, I frequently find myself writing reminders on my hand or anywhere else I can. This past week I wrote and rewrote the same word on my left hand every day, and I still forgot when it came time to remember. However, my hand still shows faint ink marks, which are now lingering and constantly reminding me of how forgetful I can be. Thankfully, the invention I need to eradicate this dependence on a pen and my hand is in the works.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been working on what they are calling “nano skins,” a composite of nanotubes and polymers. Their invention is flexible and thin enough to fit underneath the skin, without losing the ability to conduct electricity. Among the uses envisioned for the "nano skins" are facial or hand displays. Will I still forget to remember? In a similar vein, a "nano-skin" project concept is being probed for feedback by Koninklijke Philips Electronics.

Skin Phone. Kristi Scott March 18, 2009 Welcome to the conceptual solution that combines the beauty of a tattoo with the convenience of your cell phone and Bluetooth technology, the “Digital Tattoo Interface.” DTI, developed by Jim Mielke, debuted at this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition 2008, receiving Notable Entry award. This is one tattoo with a lot of potential: a phone that would be implanted under the skin, with microscopic spheres that would act as the touch-screen buttons. Don’t want to show off your phone?

The concept has a button that, when pushed, can render the phone invisible. Where’s the battery? Implantable Silicon-Silk Electronics. By building thin, flexible silicon electronics on silk substrates, researchers have made electronics that almost completely dissolve inside the body. So far the research group has demonstrated arrays of transistors made on thin films of silk. While electronics must usually be encased to protect them from the body, these electronics don’t need protection, and the silk means the electronics conform to biological tissue. The silk melts away over time and the thin silicon circuits left behind don’t cause irritation because they are just nanometers thick. “Current medical devices are very limited by the fact that the active electronics have to be ‘canned,’ or isolated from the body, and are on rigid silicon,” says Brian Litt, associate professor of neurology and bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Litt, who is working with the silk-silicon group to develop medical applications for the new devices, says they could interact with tissues in new ways. The Illustrated Man: How LED Tattoos Could Make Your Skin a Screen | Gadget Lab. The title character of Ray Bradbury’s book The Illustrated Man is covered with moving, shifting tattoos. If you look at them, they will tell you a story. New LED tattoos from the University of Pennsylvania could make the Illustrated Man real (minus the creepy stories, of course). Researchers there are developing silicon-and-silk implantable devices which sit under the skin like a tattoo.

Already implanted into mice, these tattoos could carry LEDs, turning your skin into a screen. The silk substrate onto which the chips are mounted eventually dissolves away inside the body, leaving just the electronics behind. The silicon chips are around the length of a small grain of rice — about 1 millimeter, and just 250 nanometers thick. These displays could be hooked up to any kind of electronic device, also inside the body. Chips are already used inside bodies, most notably the tiny RFID tags injected into pets. And a full-body display will eventually be used for advertising. Tattoo You [ Tattoo You. Surfdaddy Orca November 17, 2009 Animated and programmable LED tattoos connected to your brain? You could show off your latest Flash animations, watch TV on your arm, or have a built-in PDA screen.

The possibilities are endless. Perhaps more than simply a fashion statement, you could use such LED tattoos to display medical information about your body such as blood-sugar readings. A recent article in MIT Technology Review describes a new type of super-thin silicon transistor that can be embedded on a dissolvable silk-based film and can do all of that. Brian Litt, associate professor of neurology and bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, is working with researchers from Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois and Tufts University to develop medical applications for the new transistors. Professor Litt’s laboratory is a collaboration between Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, and Engineering. Nintendo 3DS augmented reality tattoo is awesome, real. Last week I finally snagged a Nintendo 3DS and after playing the augmented reality games, the first thing I thought was “Oh shit, that AR card would make a killer tattoo.”

And so this weekend, I got the 3DS AR tattoo and it’s fucking awesome. The photo above was taken in my bathroom, showing my little Mii popping out of my hand. Here’s the tattoo just by itself: And here’s a video of the tattoo in action: Sorry that it’s jittery… the way I was having to hold my arm and hold the 3DS and look through the viewfinder of the camera meant that my arm was at a slight angle and the 3DS was trying to place it on a flat plane. Also, a couple things to note if you want to try this. The tattoo was done by Colby at Blue Flame Tattoo in Raleigh, NC. LED Tattoo.