Digital Tats…

There is a reason for the mass love of tattoos going on in our culture. There is a reason God told us not to do such a thing. (I didn’t listen either.) The day is coming when anyone who wants to buy or sell, eat, cash their paycheck, etc. will be required to take a “mark”. It is in worship of the beast, just as tattooing which came from other cultures is done as worship of their gods. The technology has been around for a while, but this tat with the use of an i-phone grabbed my attention. Yes, I love technology too, but we are being de-sensitized to accept everything that comes along. We will do will to think twice about the next thing that takes permanent residence on or under our skin. There will be no mistaking of the mark. It will be survival and will be in worship of the anti-Christ. Put your trust in God today. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ only.
Revelation 13:16-17 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Digital Tattoo Gets Under Your Skin to Monitor Blood

Bioengineering doctoral student Kate Balaconis shines the iPhone reader against her tattooless arm.

Maybe tattoos aren’t just for Harley riders or rebellious teens after all. In a few years, diabetics might get inked up with digital tats that communicate with an iPhone to monitor their blood.

Instead of the dye used for tribal arm bands and Chinese characters, these tattoos will contain nanosensors that read the wearer’s blood levels of sodium, glucose and even alcohol with the help of an iPhone 4 camera.

Dr. Heather Clark, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Northeastern University, is leading the research on the subdermal sensors. She said she was reminded of the benefits of real-time, wearable health monitoring when she entered a marathon in Vermont: If they become mass-produced and affordable for the consumer market, wireless devices worn on the body could tell you exactly what medication you need whenever you need it.

“I had no idea how much to drink, or when,” said Clark, reflecting on her marathon run. “Or if I should have Gatorade instead.”

Clark’s technology could spell out the eventual demise of the painful finger pricks required for blood tests — assuming users have an iPhone, which Northeastern bioengineering grad student Matt Dubach has customized to read light from the tiny sensors to collect and output data.

Here’s how it works: A 100-nanometer-wide set of sensors go under the skin, like tattoo ink — as for the size, “You can spot it if you’re looking for it,” Clark says. The sensors are encased in an oily agent to ensure the whole contraption stays together.

Within the implant, certain nanoparticles will bind exclusively to specific blood contents, like sodium or glucose. Thanks to an additive that makes the particles charge neutral, the presence of a target triggers an ion release, which manifests as a florescence change. The process is detailed in an article published in the journal Integrative Biology.

Dubach designed the iPhone 4 attachment to use the phone’s camera to read the color shift and translate the results into quantifiable data. A plastic ring surrounding the lens blocks out ambient light while a battery-powered blue LED contrasts with the sensors. The software uses the iPhone camera’s built-in RGB filters to process the light reflected off the sensors.

Why blue? Initial trials with lights that projected other colors were hindered by Apple’s built-in optical filter, but blue light uses the iPhone’s built-in RGB setup to process the data accurately. That blue light, powered by a 9-volt battery attached to the phone, works with the sensors’ red-shifted florescence because red shines well through skin.

As of now, the data collected with the iPhone still requires processing through a secondary machine, but Duboch says using the iPhone to do all the work is not far off, and that an app is likely on the way.

Clark hopes to see the work of an entire clinical analyzer done by nanoparticles interacting with smartphones, which would mean a major step forward for personalized medicine. Diabetics and athletes alike could adapt and measure their own statistics without dependence on big, pricey, exclusive medical equipment.

The testing is still in early stages, and hasn’t been tried on humans yet. Research on mice, who have comparatively thinner skin than humans, has shown promising results.

Readings of blood concentrations show up like this, with different colors indicating different sodium concentrations. Photo Courtesy of Matt Dubach.

When Apple’s next iPhone comes out, the project will benefit, said Dubach, citing rumors that the iPhone 5 will include a more powerful camera sensor.

“I’m holding out for the iPhone 5,” Dubach said. “More megapixels gives you more for the average,” meaning the higher-resolution camera provides more data for analysis. Even bioengineers are waiting for Steve Jobs’ next move.

The technology is still years off, but Clark and Dubach’s developments are bringing medicine closer to a time when diagnostics are minimally invasive. Real-time feedback through subdermal circuits and smartphone cameras means you could know exactly when to slug that water.

Researchers tested the iPhone attachment on this plate reader, which determines the nanosensors’ response to the reader. Photo courtesy of Matt Dubach

Alexander George is ambivalent about his New Jersey provenance. He currently lives in San Francisco and writes for WIRED.

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4 thoughts on “Digital Tats…

  1. A couple of my grandkids have them all over their necks, legs, and other parts. sorry to say it looks so stupid especially when in the public i hate to walk with them!

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  2. When I first went to Bethel Church, I was exceedingly disappointed in the huge percentage of people, even leadsership, who have tattoos. One guy I remember had a huge tattoo on his right arm, deltoid area. He had his arm very exposed so you could see his tattoo of a cross there while he was preaching. Somneone else who is on the security team has so many tattoos that it seems hard to see his skin. To me there is a definite reason for this, at Bethel, although I do not yet understand what. I had never before seen such a proliferation of tattoos in any church. Maybe it is a subtle way to break down inhibitions and resistance to deception.

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    • Tattooing is a practice taken from other religions in which the followers would tattoo themselves. I have to think there is a connection as we see our society go deeper and deeper into darkness, accepting various beliefs and practices that didn’t much exist 50 years ago, at least not mainstream. God spoke that His people should not mark themselves yet so many do, even those I believe to be true Christians. Personally, I believe it is a way to desensitize the populace into accepting the mark when it comes.

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