If you’re tough enough to rock a tattoo but ironically not tough enough to bear the thought of a tattoo gun needling ink under your skin, you may soon be in luck.
Georgia Tech researchers have developed a painless microneedle technology inside a Band-Aid-like patch that can give you a cool tat without any of the pain, bleeding or risk of infection associated with the usual tattoo tech.
Because the needles are so small — smaller than a grain of sand, according to the researchers — you won’t feel them. The tiny needles are filled with ink and dissolve once the patch is applied, leaving only the design into which they’ve been rendered in ink.
What’s more, you could even opt for temporary ink if you’re not ready to commit. “Because the microneedles are made of tattoo ink, they deposit the ink in the skin very efficiently,” says study co-author Dr. Song Li, a senior research scientist at Micron and former postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech.
Just like those Cracker Jack temporary tattoos we grew up with, you could actually ink yourself using the high-tech patches, say the researchers.
You’ll likely have to wait to get that boss flaming skull, however: The tech is still in its testing phase, and wide-scale commercial application is ways away.
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