Led by Dr. Roozbeh Jafari, Texas A&M University researchers have created a temporary tattoo that can accurately measure blood pressure around the clock. Invisible and weightless, the tattoos have the potential to make blood pressure readings more convenient and precise than current blood pressure cuffs.
The tattoos use bioimpedance, a technique that involves blood flow’s response to an electrical current, to precisely measure an individual’s blood pressure. The tattoo itself is made of a material called graphene, similar to what is found in graphite pencils. The material is strong, ultra-flexible and adheres to the skin directly over a person’s arteries, allowing it to remain for up to one week. Circuits within the tattoo send the gathered information to a computer to interpret the data.
“Realizing unobtrusive and passive technologies for the frequent recording of blood pressure to address the worldwide problem of hypertension is among the most important global challenges in health care,” said Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, inaugural dean for Texas A&M’s School of Engineering Medicine.
The project was conducted in collaboration with researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Office of Naval Research.