From celebrities to everyday people, tattoos have become a very popular form of body art in recent years. The madness has reached such a point that people get tattoos on their eyes. In addition, engineers have devised something extraordinary creating the first & # 39; live tattoo & # 39; of the world using a 3D printer.
Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a new ink from living genetically programmed cells. to illuminate in response to a variety of stimuli.
In addition, they can be printed layer by layer, to form interactive structures and 3D devices when mixed with a mixture of hydrogel and nutrients.
The most interesting thing is, researchers led by Xuanhe Zhao, Noyce Career The development professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT says that this technique can be used to make "active" materials for portable sensors and interactive displays.
Xuanhe Zhao said in a statement: "We found that this new formula works very well and can print at a high resolution of around 30 micrometers per function."
Researchers printed a thin, transparent patch with live bacterial cells in the form of a tree, where each of the branches is filled with cells sensitive to a different chemical or molecular compound.
To test the patch, the researchers smeared several chemical compounds on the subject's hand and the branches of the patch tree were illuminated when the cells detected the corresponding chemical stimuli.
The researchers also developed a model to predict the communication between the cells within a given 3D printed structure, for example, they programmed some cells to illuminate only when they receive a certain signal from an Other cell.
For several years, researchers have had many unsuccessful attempts to use live mammalian cells to serve as receptive materials for 3D printed inks. Because the cells were too weak, they broke easily. Finally, they identified a more resistant cell type in bacteria that can survive in relatively harsh conditions.
Hyunwoo Yuk said that, in the future, researchers can use this technique also to print "living computers".
"This is very future work, but we hope to be able to print live computing platforms that can be wearable," says Yuk.
The results were published in the Advanced Materials journal.