Would you track your sodium and glucose by tattoo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 27, 2011 at 5:42 PM

MIT published a new article regarding sodium and glucose monitoring. Instead of peeing or pricking, a solution containing nanoparticles is injected just under the skin like a tattoo. These nanoparticles will fluoresce when exposed to whatever the target molecule is, such as sodium or glucose. The monitoring will be via an iPhone.


Definitely there are some things that I wish they had included such as other impacts that could potentially skew a "scan", how long does it take for the nanoparticles to react when and if they find the target molecule, etc.

My feelings are two fold. 1. It could be used to track many things besides glucose and sodium, offering easier, more accurate, and way less painful ways, to find indicators of biological activity: disease, infection, environmental exposures, cyclists and other high performance athletes could closely monitor their levels to prevent dehydration, anemic patients could track their blood oxygen levels, the list could really grow and expand. My friends with diabetes would love this and if I had a serious enough issue that needed monitoring I probably would too. 2. I definitely thought sci-fi Total Recall/Terminator kind of tracking would eventually morph from this wonderful idea to new frightening levels of Big Brother is Watching. I love science but we all know that sometimes the best intentions go seriously wrong.

Sodium and glucose, Ketone Sticks!, pop up a lot on PH, and I've read posts from PH folks that are diabetic, so I'm curious. Would you use a tool such as this? If yes, why? If no, why? Benefits, negatives, etc.


on February 08, 2012
at 10:38 PM

Interesting. I just hope they figure out a 'hide' option in case you're not in the mood to see it. Also, I'm personally not too worried about Big Brother. They already have plenty of ways to watch us if they want to. This might just save the taxpayers money. ;-)

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2 Answers


on July 27, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I love the idea behind it. How cool would it be to look at a 24 hour, week, month or year graph of what your blood sugar looked like once they figure out an automated way to take measurements continuously? I'd be all for something like that and I don't really have a reason to check up on stuff like that, except curiosity. I sure do like science.



on July 27, 2011
at 09:03 PM

Sounds awesome. Although, since I don't need constant blood sugar monitoring, I wouldn't use it. That kind of constant bio-feedback would make me neurotic. At the same time, it would be nice to have user-controlled access to my own numbers. I'm sure we'll see an expansion of capabilities in the future, as well as some quality control protocols.

It reminds me of the magnetic tongue studs used by paraplegics to control their chairs. When body modification meets science. Transhumanism!

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