Dermal Implant As a Mounting System

Okay, so... this is about the most "body as a handbag" body mod that I've ever come up with, but... I spent hours yesterday trying to think of every possible way to do a changable tattoo, thought about everything from stimulating excess melanin production to basically a aubdermal printer that injected ink into a higher level of your skin such that it would eventually get pushed out and flake off with your dead skin cells. The former of those two was honestly the best idea for it that I think I had, but I disliked the skin pigment colored tattoo idea. Toward the end of last night I had wandered on to dermal implants, which aren't new or particularly revolutionary. But my thought was that... I would so have a touchscreen mounted to my arm in a non-armband fashion if I could. Due mostly to the presence of muscles in between bones and skin, mounting something to bone that protrudes through the skin is problematic, forget for a moment the problematic infectious nature of such "transdermal implants". All these thoughts led to what basically amounted to a tiny inkjet printer that you mount onto dermal implants to hold on to your skin long enough for it to print a tattoo on the surface of your skin. Obviously that's very temporary, not a grand idea, and custom printed "temporary" tattoos are much easier to get.

I moved on to the idea of mounting other things using dermal implants.
What I don't know is some technical stuff, like how close you could have two dermal implants without them irritating each other.
How much force could you exert pulling on A (as in 1, single) dermal implant without excessively irritating it, to the point of compromising the hold the skin has ok the implant base?

Any thoughts anyone has on this? I don't wear a watch. This is cool: I wouldn't wear that. I have this thing about stuff pressed against my skin.

I imagine basically a phone, but more iPad Mini screen size (think, 7 inches). With the screen, and then all the other components spread out (mostly as not behind the screen as possible) to evenly distribute the device around the arm. Obviously due the fixed, wrap around nature, it basicallybe custom made to fit each arm. Hypothetically you could have a standard that was just all on one side of your arm that could fit anyone, but that would stick out from the arm more, have the weight more concentrated, etc...

As a majorly positive side note, my fondness for peltier generators could be applied as direct skin contact on one side and cool air on the other side would produce a decent amount of power.

As another positive note, the dermal implant mounting idea, completely removable. And although it's less sanitary than no penetration, due to not completely penetrating the subdermis, doesn't pose as great a risk of infection as the typical transdermal idea would.

Let me know your opinions, and any information on my above few questions.

EDIT: For the record my tags are "dermal", "dont", "like", "picking", and "tags". It's not obvious in the little tag list on the right...


  • I am not sure how relevant this, but I was also thinking about some sort of mounting system. 

    I was thinking about some sort of membrane with magnets embedded in it that would be inserted under the skin. The magnets could then be used to temporarily attach things to yourself. Maybe something like a bluetooth transducer behind you ear or some such.

    Obviously issues with connection strength vs pinching of the skin/lack of oxygen etc. 
  • So it would be on the outside like a watch but held by the subdermal implants? That doesn't seem like it would really feel much different that a watch.
  • Cathasach

    ChrisBot's mounting is really interessting because it would use a large magnetic area to attacht things instead of just one or two magnets. This could maybe prevent pinching the skin and enable one to wear the attachment constantly
  • @Cathasach, I mean a watch would be cool and convenient but I will just wear my smart watch. I was thinking specifically for behind the ear so you can have the convenience of having something that can provide audio feedback without constantly having a huge lump in your skull.

    And the guy who did the watch used normal transdermals which will grow out eventually so that doesn't seem like a good option.

    Obviously spreading the magnetic area would be the best option, but my thoughts always come back to the crappy fridge magnets.
  • @ChrisBot I like the idea. Potentially better than mine, except for possibly requiring so much magnet surface area, that it could be difficult in an area with muscles, that flexes regularly. Like my forearm. That said, I do like the idea. I'd be curious to know if you could achieve the same thing with strips or even one or more large sheets of metal that doesn't itself produce a magnetic field, but can still conduct it. Think, the Fridge half of the Fridge Magnet system. Just so you have a larger surface, without specific mounting points. That could result in not having an attached thing just plop into place though. I suppose that's better for small applications like the behind the ear thing, though, at that point I'd just consider ear cuffs, have actually considered that, still more concerned with charging the device so I could keep it on all the time, not so much with how to attach the device to my ear/head.

    I will say, my whole concept here was for a larger touch screen device. I like the ear piece idea, but I think that something that small wouldn't have the surface area to magnetically hold it to your ear and still stay in place through a minor bump. Even a little one. For the ear, I think ear cuffs are the best temporary solution.
  • Jupiter

    Pursuing your fridge-side idea, how about having a relatively thin and flexible layer of iron (or some other magnetically conductive metal) implanted below your skin? Considering the size of your touchscreen device you could distribute the attachment magnets quite well. Maybe also add a layer of foam to further prevent pinching the skin.
    Also, I'm not sure if this does work, but what about injecting some kind of iron-ink tatoo into your skin to make it magnet-compatible? If the required ammount of ink wouldn't be too high and the iron wouldn't be toxic this might actually work (at least with something light)...
  • I've thought a lot about metal based tattoo... ink... uh... if it would actually be ink like, I don't know... but the point is it'd be like metal, but in thousands of particles rather than a sheet. My thought was for conducting electricity without wires. If I thought it would work, I'd go for it. I just can't imagine there behind enough magnetizable material due to how thin it'd be. Even a half millimeter thick metal sheet would be like 100x (or more) better.

    That said, I am still thinking some sort of implanted mesh thing similar to a dermal implant, but either a giant one, or a whole lot arranged in a sort of grid pattern.

    Alternatively, I wonder if (possibly painful image here...) you could get basically a thin, close knit, metal mesh, and sort of sow it into skin using a significicsnt amount of tiny metal loops using titanium wire, like is sometimes done for surgery stitching. Possibly more, but smaller gaps in the skin that way.

    I'm regretting suggesting the metal plate idea. I think there'd be biological problems with having something that large runderneath such a large surface area of skin.
  • About the subdermal plate thing: I've seen lots of comments here on magnet sizes etc stating that larger, flat things embedded under skin sound like a good idea for a while, but actually don't work because you completely isolate the tissue on top and blood circulation etc. will not properly function.

    Of course the physical strain is an issue like you have been discussing also. I don't think you can use an iron sheet, as there is no such thing as room-temperature flexible iron. Even if it is thin enough to be bent, it will also be brittle enough to break. Afaik the 'flexible iron sheets' you can find online are actually plastic sheets containing metal particles.

    I guess an array of magnets or ferromagnetic materials would be the best bet, and having ferromagnetic pieces sounds better to me since it interferes less with other everyday stuff.
    Of course you at the same time want each part to be as small as possible, so it can withstand movement of the tissue around it; as heavy as possible, so it can be magnetized a lot; and the whole assembly to be spread out as much as possible to spread the load.

    I could imagine taking a basic transdermal design and effectively removing the large center pin. To maximize the area the stress is spread to, a shape like the one on the left can be used and maybe scaled up a bit.

  • One option that's slightly off the beaten path as far as implants go, is a gene mod that introduces a metabolic pathway or something of that nature that causes the tissue in the region you want the subdermal mount to take iron and either cap it or incorporate it into a protein that's magnetic, so that it accumulates to a particular concentration and then gets broken down or stops production of more particles.

    Avoid implanting meshes. They can have issues with fouling. @S0ll0s idea is probably your best bet, but I have a feeling that the more you use it, the faster it will reject. There are tattoo inks that are mildly magnetic, but I doubt they're in a concentration that would let you stick something to one with a magnet.
  • I would second that @TheGreyKnight. I feel like if you are attempting to place a ferromagnetic compound underneath your skin in hopes that a magnet will hold to it, you would be better off simply implanting small coated steel rods or pellets. Could be as simple as plating them with tinite (titanium nitride).

    I might actually take an idea from @AlexSmith and just buy some meat at the store and slide some steel underneath just to see how well a magnet would hold to it. A further test would be to see just how much pulling force is needed to hold the hypothetical device to your skin, then seeing how your tissue would cope with the pressure...

    I agree that meshes should be avoided, though were I to be trying something along these lines, I would opt for two perforated tinite (sorry, it's a term I picked up in an old manufacturing job) coated steel sheets implanted on either side of the top of my forearm. Might try to do some testing sometime to see how this might work.
  • @TheGreyKnight, your comment regarding gene/metabolic manipulation got the old juices flowing so I did a little light reading and found some interesting studies being conducted using nanotechnology which bonds magnetic particles to the dermal cells in vivo.

    This process is called Magnetic Tissue Engineering (Mag-TE) and is something I think is worth looking into. Once we are capable of bridging the gap between our gadgets and our skin we will be able to implant increasingly complex systems with inductive charging plates etc.

    Just something I wanted to share with everyone.
  • Yeah, dermal implants are how the North Sense is attached. It's sounding like it's going pretty well in the early tests.
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