A tattoo that helps to diagnose cancer at early stages, invented in Sweden. Yet its effectiveness is tested.
A birthmark, a tattoo created by Swiss scientists, reports Science Translational. Tattoo becomes darker if the blood increases the content of calcium (hypercalcemia).
Some types of cancer (breast, colon, prostate and lung) are characterized by higher concentration of calcium ions in the blood, so researchers from ETH Zurich under the guidance of Martin Fussnegger suggested that the onset of the disease can be noticed by tracking the level of calcium in the blood.
Actually the tattoo is a set of special cells that respond to calcium levels. If the calcium in the blood exceeds the norm, the cells will be dark.
The researchers note that have only made the prototype sensor. In the future tattoo needs to help people independently keep track of the condition. The main disadvantage is the lifetime of a tattoo is no more than a year. After that, it will need to be changed.
Now medical tattoos are used for delivery to the body of certain drugs or vaccines. Sometimes this method is more effective than the intramuscular injections. The scientists also suggested using tattoos to determine the level of blood sugar in diabetic patients and to alleviate the symptoms of autoimmune diseases, said N+1.