Scientists have created a tattoo from living cells, which reacts to the external environment

It is not only visually voluminous, but also changes color.

MIT scientists, living tattoo

Engineers from MIT developed a temporary tattoo made with “live” ink. The tattoo is made up of bacterial cells that are genetically programmed to vary due to the impact of the environment. As reported in the institute, after programming they are mixed with hydrogel and nutrients necessary for maintaining the vital activity of cells. Using a 3D printer, the mixture in several layers is applied to a transparent film. As a result, each line consists of cells that are sensitive to various kinds of substances. Once the tattoo is on the skin, its lines begin to glow under the influence of chemical compounds.

The image is highlighted for several hours of contact of bacteria and a chemical tattoo stimulator, according to Fast Co Design. Scientists have also created bacterial cells that can glow when receiving certain signals from other cells. Researchers tested them in a three-dimensional structure, overlapping two layers of hydrogel filaments. Bacteria started to shine only when they were in contact with each other and received communication signals.


“This is still a very distant future, but in the end we want to find the opportunity to print live computing platforms that can be used in portable electronics,” said scientist Hyunwoo Yuk.

Leila Glenna

Passionate creator. Unapologetic problem solver. Evil student. Devoted troublemaker. Music enthusiast.

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