World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

LED tattoo

Article Id: WHEBN0025250687
Reproduction Date:

Title: LED tattoo  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Light-emitting diode
Collection: Body Modification
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

LED tattoo

A light-emitting diode tattoo is a type of body modification similar to a tattoo, but specifically involves implantation of technologically based materials versus traditional ink injection into the layers of the skin.[1] LED tattoos are accomplished by a combination of silicon-silk technology and a miniature lighting device known as a light-emitting diode. While there is potential for many applications in the medical, commercial and personal domains, the technology is still in the development stage. Once the ability is attained to condense the parts of a LED to a small enough level, it will be possible for the tattoos to be implanted in humans.


  • Technological limitations 1
  • Development 2
  • Medical application 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Technological limitations

Current medical devices are limited by their isolation from the body and their placement on rigid silicon.[2] Current devices also contain gold and titanium which are required for electrical connections. Both gold and titanium are bio-compatible which means that they will not be rejected by the body as a foreign substance. However, biocompatibility is not as preferable as biodegradable is due to the fact that the latter does not leave behind any unnecessary materials; so researchers are working on biodegradable contacts to eliminate all remnants but the silicon. The current form of the LED tattoo has been implanted on mice without harm.[3] LED tattoos of today are limited to monochromatic display. Current research on silicon-silk technology is being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania's Engineering Department. Additionally, the Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands has shown commercial interest in the research of silicon silk technology, speficifically LED tattoos as a means to extend the digital experience, or interactivity with the digital product.[4]


Future LED tattoos may use silicon chips that are around the length of a small grain of rice which has the dimensions of about 1 milimeters and just 250 nanometers thick.[5] The chips are placed on thin films of silk, which cause the electronics to conform to biological tissue. This process is aided when saline solution is added, helping the silicon mold to the shape of the skin. Silk dissolves away over time, which can occur immediately after the operation or over the course of several years,[6] leaving the thin silicon circuits in place. While silicon has not been proven to be biocompatible all studies show it to be safe[7] and it has been used in many other medical implant operations including implantation of silicon chips in mice. The circuits do not cause irritation because they are nanometers thick. LED tattoos would not interfere with normal physiological processes.[8]

Medical application

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved LED technology but LED tattoos are undergoing continual development. One such medical application would be silk-silicon LEDs to create photonic tattoos which would assist in blood-sugar readings.[9] Perfected for clinical use and mass production, these devices could see patients sent home from the GP or from surgery with a monitoring system that does the job of several heavy-duty machines—like electromyographs, an EEG or electrocardiogram—normally confined to hospitals.

See also


  1. ^ Murad, A. (2009, Dec 19). Microtrends. The Times Retrieved from
  2. ^ Quick, Darren. "Implantable Silicon-Silk electronics could mean LED tattoos." Gizmag 11 Nov 2009. Web
  3. ^ Nov. 21 2009switched.comZuras, Matthew "Philip's Interactive LED Tattoos Could Be the Future of Body Art"
  4. ^ 17 Nov 2009h+ Magazine"Tattoo You"
  5. ^ 20 Nov 2009WiredSorrel, Charlie. "The Illustrated Man: How LED Tattoos Could Make Your Skin a Screen."
  6. ^ , (2011)TED TalksFiorenzo, Omenetto. "Silk, the ancient material of the future."
  7. ^ (2009)Technology ReviewBourzac, Katherine. "Implantable Silicon-Silk Electronics."
  8. ^ Yazdi, Tina. "LED Tattoos: Human skin as lighted signs."
  9. ^ Tuan, Mai. "Get Ready for Health Monitoring LED implants". Retrieved 13 August 2014. 

External links

  • June 13, 2007physorg.comMgrdichian, Laura "Stretchable Silicon May Inspire a New Wave of Electronics"
  • Estes, Adam Clarke "The Freaky, Bioelectric Future of Tattoos" July 1, 2014
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.