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Disease-Sensing Tattoo: A New Way to Call for Help During Emergencies

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By Gilda Galang | February 11, 2013 4:15 PM EST

Not everyone is open to the idea of inking their skin, but what if it was a tattoo that could help you detect any abnormal conditions or disease in your system? This is what Princeton professor Michael Alpine and his team are trying to come up with for the market, reports Daily Mail.

ANI News reports that the tattoo is made of gold and silk and comes with an antenna to allow wireless communication to nearby computers, in case a person is suffering from a condition, medical attack, or disease, real-time.

This technology also makes it easier to alert medics for necessary action. Best of all, you place it on the body the same way you would a temporary tattoo-without the use of painful needles. But the downside is that it can easily wash off with water. So far, this is the latest developments that the team is trying to pursue for the project.

Alpine has also taken into account potential safety concerns, because the tattoo fades after a day, and easily dissolves in water, without putting the person at risk for an infection via foreign body.

According to NJ.com, Alpine was inspired by a story of a woman who was reported to have an asthma attack while at the grocery store.

"She couldn't breathe enough to tell first-responders what was wrong, but she had a tattoo on her arm that said she had asthma," said Alpine to NJ.com. "I thought, if she can have a passive tattoo that says 'I have asthma,' why not have an active tattoo that can continuously track your health?"

The disease-sensing tattoo is just one of the nine proposals in Princeton University that have been awarded grants of $50,000 to $100,000 this year by the university's Intellectual Property Accelerator Fund.

But this tattoo is not Alpine's first dabble with disease detection tools. Daily Mail Reports that Alpine and his team also found a way to detect traces of disease just from testing a person's breath.

This is done with the use of a strip that contains graphene, super thin carbons, together with disease-sensing peptides. This strip is then tattooed onto the teeth, where traces of infection can be detected and the data will be transmitted to the medical personnel.

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