Living Tatoos Created from 3D Printed Live Bacteria

3D printed live bacteria creates world’s first “living tattoo”

A team at MIT has genetically modified bacteria cells and developed a new 3D printing technique to create a “living tattoo” that can respond to a variety of stimuli.

Electronic tattoos and smart ink technologies are showing exciting potential for reframing how we think of wearable sensor devices. While many engineers are experimenting with a variety of responsive materials the MIT team wondered if live cells could be co-opted into a functional use……

…..To test out the technique the team created a 3D-printed patch of bacteria cells on an elastomer layer designed to resemble a tree. The bacteria in each branch of the tree was engineered to respond to a different chemical stimuli. When the patch was tested on a human hand that had been applied with different target chemicals the bacteria successfully illuminated its branches when sensing the corresponding chemical.

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
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