Invisible Ink Tattoos Could Be Used To Reveal Whether Kids Have Been Vaccinated

By: | January 31st, 2020

Image courtesy: MIT

Did you know around the world more than 3 million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases? Out of these, about 1.5 million deaths are in children less than 5 years old.

Major reason behind this is people are not able to keep the track of vaccines taken by their kids. To rule out this issue, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a special ink. 

Embedding the record directly into the skin

MIT researchers have created a dye that can be injected along with the vaccine. This injected dye is invisible to the naked eye and is visible only using a special smartphone camera app and filter.

This way they have found a concealed way to embed the record of a vaccination directly in a patient’s skin. Now it is possible to maintain accurate vaccine records, especially on a larger scale.

Researcher Kevin McHugh said, “In areas where paper vaccination cards are often lost or do not exist at all, and electronic databases are unheard of, this technology could enable the rapid and anonymous detection of patient vaccination history to ensure that every child is vaccinated,”

Although research is very promising, researchers have yet tried it out on rats not on humans. In their trials on rats, researchers found that the patterns were still detectable nine months after injection.

Robert Langer, MIT professor and senior author, said, “It’s possible someday that this ‘invisible’ approach could create new possibilities for data storage, biosensing, and vaccine applications that could improve how medical care is provided, particularly in the developing world,”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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