Tattoos that can Monitor your Blood Sugar?


There is diabetes in my family, although I don’t have it, I am all too familiar with the routine. I guess like almost everything in life you get used to doing whatever it is you have to do. Some folks seem to adapt so much better than others. I think I would be a  poor adapter, the simplest things make me crazy, so having to poke myself with a needle several times a day would make me nuts. Luckily for people like me, things are starting to change.

We recently reported on a glucose monitoring iPhone app and other interesting ways to keep track of your blood sugar levels, but heres one you may not have heard about – a nanoparticle ink tattoo that can keep track of your levels without the need for the constant finger pokes and annoying blood squeezing onto those little paper strips.

Once these nanoparticles are injected into the skin, glucose levels can be detected, and the diabetic tattoo will turn yellow or orange. The darker the color, the lower the sugar. The tattoo’s “ink” is sensitive to any changes in glucose levels and will fluoresce, but only when viewed in near infrared light. It is likely that one would  pass a small monicle type device over the tattoo that would reveal the colors, and the ability to read blood sugar levels.

Funny how things work out, the technology was originally developed to be sodium sensitive and monitor heart health, and to learn more about electrolytes in the body, and the trials in mice showed spectacular results, testing the tech for glucose readings is in process right now, no word yet on when when you’ll be able to get your “tag” and by the way, you’re not going to need that full shoulder fire breathing dragon you wanted all your life, it seems like these medical tattoos are very small and only last 6 months or so before they need to be re-inked. Would you be willing to try it?


15 reviews or comments

Michel Labelle Says: May 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

Count me in!
I want one.
I want mine to be a snake just like in the 2000 TV series The Invisible Man.

brian Says: May 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

please. edit. tatoos does not need an apostrophe. an otherwise great article, it’s marred by that errant apostrophe.

Julie Says: May 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Thanks Brian… most of the time it’s me.. sometimes its the darn spellcheck!! ;)

Teresa Says: October 26, 2012 at 6:50 am

I want one too! I got away from wanting tattoos a long time ago, but this is for a different reason, and I am on board.

Any idea when it’s going to be available?

John H. Harris Says: January 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I’ve never been one for tattoos, but I think I’d be willing to try this, so long as it was small and utilitarian. I’m not interested in using my body as a canvas.

Melissa Says: May 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Oh my gosh, yes, when, and where?

Susan Morris Says: May 5, 2013 at 9:07 am

I would love to learn more about this.

melissa Says: May 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

Yes! When where and whatever the cost! If someone could tell me where I’d have one done yesterday

kelly Says: June 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

Hell yea count me in, I have 5 tattoos and 2 of which are ‘medical id’ ones

kelly Says: June 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

Sorry 6 damn phone lol

Laura Kondon Says: June 24, 2013 at 8:17 am

I do so many diabetic and allergy info tattoos. Where would I be able to find this ink so I may help my clients? This is very important!

Jeremy Says: June 24, 2013 at 8:33 am


Teresa Says: June 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

yes, would definitely want this!

m sterling Says: January 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm

From someone who has had diabetes for 40 yrs. this would have saved the loss of feeling I have in my fingers due to fingersticks 8 – 10 times a day. Don’t get me wrong, home blood tests are the reason I am still alive.

GailLynn Says: July 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Heck yeah!
Easier & cheaper in the long run! I love the idea!! I have some tattoos so this would be no biggie deal. When, where & how much?

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