New e-Tattoo Can Produce Electricity Through Touch

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 15 Jun 2021 15:37
New e-Tattoo Can Produce Electricity Through TouchAjou University

Ever been super comfortable in bed and forgotten to turn off the light? If your answer’s yes, then this e-tattoo could be the answer to your problems.

A team in South Korea announced yesterday, June 14, they had successfully created an e-tattoo that can produce electricity.


The innovative tattoo is a nanofiber paper sticker made of silk protein, which only works when attached to a human or robot.

Using a carbon nanofiber ink, drawing circuits are then drawn onto the silk protein in whatever design the person wants.

Ajou University's e-tattoo (Ajou University)Ajou University

People don’t need to go through the pain of an actual tattoo either, as the e-tattoo is applied to a person’s skin like a non-permanent transferable one, The Korea Bizwire reports.


The tattoo is then activated by touch and is able to turn LED lights on or run small electric devices such as stopwatches.

Kim Sung-hwan, a physics professor who led the study at Ajou University, said:

As they are very thin, e-tattoos can be attached well even onto very wrinkled surfaces like fingerprints. Excluding showering and bathing, e-tattoos do not interfere with users’ everyday life.

This design comes after a team at Saarland University, Germany, created an e-tattoo that you could control your smartphone through. The tattoo could change the volume on your phone, play and pause music, or glow when you got a notification on a particular app, New Scientist reported at the time.


However, e-tattoos haven’t just been made to turn lights on and off or change the settings on your smartphone. In fact, other designs are supposedly able to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, hydration or blood sugar levels.

According to Now, Massachusetts-based company MC10 created an e-tattoo that’s thinner than a piece of human hair, able to ‘sense, analyse, and communicate information’ about the person wearing it.

Meanwhile, researchers from Harvard and MIT designed one that can track a person’s hydration and glucose levels – something which could prove extremely useful for those with diabetes.

Person getting tattoo (Pexels)Pexels

Another team of South Korean researchers from Seoul National University also created a medical e-tattoo that was able to detect body temperature and the pH/chemical composition of the sweat of the person wearing it.

It’s thought future devices could go on to diagnose conditions such as heart arrhythmia, heart activities of premature babies, sleep disorders and brain activities noninvasively, Medical Futurist reports.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Now, Tattoo, Tech, Technology


The Korea Bizwire and 2 others
  1. The Korea Bizwire

    New e-Tattoo Produces Electricity Through Touch

  2. Now

    The E Tattoo Is the Future of Healthcare Technology

  3. New Scientist

    E-tattoos turn knuckles and freckles into smartphone controls