AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many people need to have their blood pressure monitored. But using traditional cuff systems can be inconvenient and even difficult for some patients.
Soon, a tattoo could provide a new option.
Researchers at the University of Texas and Texas A&M University teamed up to develop an electronic tattoo that can help gather and transmit the data.
“This technology looks at the blood volume changes,” explained Dr. Roozbeh Jafari, a professor of biomedical engineering at Texas A&M.
The tattoo can send an electrical current into the skin, and gets measurements by analyzing the body’s response.
“We measure a number of complex hemodynamic parameters then use the notion of artificial intelligence to turn it into the blood pressure,” Jafari said.
The electronic tattoos are worn on the wrist and can be removed. They’re made using graphene, one of the strongest and thinnest materials in existence. The material is flexible, allowing them to be worn for long periods of time.
“They are weightless, they are unobtrusive, you don’t even see it. And they always stay at the same location. And because of that, you can take the measurements over different times, you can actually compare apples to apples, and it provides the full profile of our blood pressure changes throughout the day and throughout the night,” Jafari said.
The technology is still being developed. The Texas researchers published details of their work in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Jafari said there are a number of potential health applications for the tattoos, beyond blood pressure.
“It can potentially be used for wellness impact. Many of us are interested in knowing how our cardiovascular system behaves over time,” Jafari said.