Saturday, September 17, 2022

Painless tattoo

Microneedles are made of ink in a soluble matrix, and bundled into a pattern that is pressed onto the skin for a few minutes until the matrix dissolves.
Prausnitz’s lab has been researching microneedles for vaccine delivery for years and realized they could be equally applicable to tattoos. With support from the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, Prausnitz’s team started working on tattoos to identify spayed and neutered pets, but then realized the technology could be effective for people, too.

Bundling of the microneedles onto a patch sounds a bit complicated. Anything customizable would probably require a fancy machine to manipulate the needle stock (limited color palette?) to embed them in the patch. Doable, and if there were economies of scale it might be saleable. I assume you'd have to build up a market first, with standardized images and messages.

Two problems come to mind.

How stable is the delivery system? I assume that some of the microneedles will fall out with handling. Folding the patch would probably make an empty line, sort of like an electronic billboard with a glitch. That would need manual repair--the tattoo artist would still need to be there.

This lends itself to nasty pranks. Your buddy is drunk? Slap one on, and by the time he notices it's too late. Plant one on a beach chair; when the suntan is done there's a new tattoo on her leg, or mostly so.

Even painless, I think I'll pass. I kind of like my skin.

1 comment:

The Mad Soprano said...

Just use henna, it's easier and only needs to be painted on.