Tonight I did a Dangerous Thing™ :)

edited February 2015 in Procedures
I recently ordered one of @amal's xEM glass tags and tonight decided to implant it.  Against all recommendations, I've placed it in my left hand parallel to the previously implanted xNT glass tag.  If you happen to be reading this, my recommendation is to NOT do the same.  Risk of breakage if the tags are smooshed together, reader "collision" of the two chips, etc. could result.  Again, you should not do it.

That having been said, here's why I did it.  My xNT is off-center of the typically accepted location in the hand by a fair bit.  I'm happy with its location and have had zero issues in the few months I've had it in, but it is a bit close to metacarpal II.  Because of this, I felt there was sufficient space in the area for a second implant.  Ultimately, there's five or six millimeters between the two chips after implantation.

The issue of reader "collision" when the two chips are read is likely to be unproblematic as well.  The xNT uses a frequency of 13.56MHz while the xEM uses 125KHz.  Most readers aren't going to be able to pick both chips up without using different settings for each, or more likely, without using different readers for each entirely.  Thus, no collision issues.

Lastly, I did it for the science of the thing.  I'll learn firsthand if I get collision issues or (heaven forbid) the close proximity leads to a breakage.  An opportunity for study, kids.  Good stuff.

As I ordered the xEM without the injector, I soaked an injector I already had on-hand in isopropanol for about an hour, rinsed it in saline, then loaded the tag into it (the injector had been cleaned pretty thoroughly after the last usage as well).  In this case, I used the injector from my Destron Fearing Bio-Thermo Lifechip I got from @AlexSmith's webstore.  I've mentioned elsewhere that I didn't like that particular injector, but I decided to give it a second go "just because".

To make it all that much more interesting, I did the entire thing solo with no one tenting the skin up.  I did have a small audience, including one 20-something female who wanted to watch and was humorously disgusted by the process :).  If I hadn't implanted two other chips prior, I don't know that I'd have been comfortable doing it without the skin tented.  I had a good grasp on the proper depth I was looking for, though, so I gave it a go with complete success.  I marked the center point for where I wanted the chip to sit after injection (accounting for the fact that they do tend to migrate a bit toward the insertion point as they heal), eyeballed the correct injection point (this is after MUCH examination of the hand in that area and how it flexes and moves with use), and slowly inserted the needle.  The skin tends to bunch up as the needle is inserted, creating something akin to what the tenting of the skin would have done.  Minimal pain as per the standard.  Did the whole "back the needle out as you depress the plunger" thing (retracting the needle always hurts more than insertion for me).  To my disappointment, no blob of blood came out (I like to see blood because that outflow can help wash the area out and remove potential nasties).  Put a band-aid on it and called it done.  It did begin to bleed right after I'd bandaged it, so that made me feel better.

So there you have it.  Unless someone has a question or something, I don't know that I'll be posting back about it here.  That is, of course, assuming I don't run into problems.  If I have problems, I'll be sure to document them here so others can learn, too.

Again, don't do this.  It's not wise.


  • Interesting. Have you had read success with both chips? Have you noticed any degradation of read range with the xNT? That would be my primary concern.
  • Honestly, I've got nothing yet with which to read the xEM, but I just now checked the xNT and the read range seems identical to before.
  • I'm glad it went well, but just for future reference, I can get you sterile needles (the nicer kind, not the Destron Fearing kind) for a few dollars each, which would be preferable to reusing a needle.
  • I appreciate that, but it wasn't that I couldn't get another one.  The needle is like any other tool, though.  Surgical steel should be able to stand up to multiple uses.  I felt comfortable that the needle was safe to use in terms of cleanliness/antisepsis (is that a word?) as well.  I'm not recommending it to anyone else, though, so no one come crying if you try it and your hand/arm/face/brain falls off, okay? ;)
  • I should probably also comment on my experience of having two chips in one hand.

    I have two NFC chips very close together in my left hand (standard placement, between the thumb and forefinger). This was not intentional, I and my body mod artist made some mistakes that ended up having the two chips close together.

    To begin with the chips had about 5mm between them at the closet point, but over time one has migrated a little, so now they are almost touching, end to end.

    I've had them for nearly a year now, I have not had any problems with them, but I plan to take one out just to be safe, when I get around to it.
  • @AlexSmith, you're able to read both tags without issue? Are you able to reliably choose one tag to read out of the pair based on antenna placement?
  • I'm wondering the same thing, @AlexSmith.  Definitely interested to hear the answer.

    As a related aside, the read range and reliability of read on the Lifechip in my left forearm is unaffected by the addition of the xEM.  The frequencies of these two chips are much closer than the xNT is to either.
  • @CitrusBolt yes to both questions. To begin with I would often read the wrong tag, but I've learned the placement of my phone to read each tag, and I only rarely get the wrong one now.
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