Ferromagnetic Tattoos



  • edited August 2012
    I've made some inquiries about some skin safe conductive ink (well paint, but I've seen one person use it for tattooing).  If I can get a hold of some, then I'll try it out.  I'm not going to try and mix my own biocompatible conductive ink, though, at least not unless I have to.  I really like the idea of magnetically stretching the ink.  If I can get the ink I'll give it a try.  I'm not holding out much hope regardless, though.  The resistance is pretty high (http://bit.ly/MJEiNo)

    I don't really mind the idea of surgery, it's just that I'd prefer to open myself up as little as necessary.
  • As mentioned before, am a tattoo artist, but I can't find any bio-compatible conductive ink. If I get it, I'll try it out on my self. Any thoughts on how to conduct that experiment? What would you want to see from such an experiment?
  • It's not biocompatible (they are working on one that is) but this will work for dead meat tests: http://www.bareconductive.com/store .  I've seen one example of it being used to tattoo with: http://www.nickpaget.com/Ink-Bare-Conductive so I think it's possible.

    Here's what I would suggest: start by tattooing a line in the meat straight and try passing an audio signal/ multimeter over it.  Then start on variations designed to improve performance: a strong magnet passed quickly over back and forth in an attempt to pull the beads into a strand.  Then try running over the same line time and time again, and finally try stretching it a bit to see if the flex changes the properties any.  Perhaps also try different widths.  I'd suggest tattooing something insulating first, in an attempt to minimize signal loss, but I don't have any material recommendations.

    Do those sound the least bit feasible?
  • Ok, 1) I'll try a few lines of non-biocompatible bare ink, on a sheet of pig skin (often used for tattoo training and practice due to similarity with human skin), 2)"passing an audio signal/ multimeter over it", 3)magnet. I'll try 5cm long lines at 2mm, 4mm and 8mm in width.

    But, I don't think we'll get much out of it until I can do this with bio-c ink... Will get bare paint and report back with results:::::::

    stay tuned

  • That's great to hear! I'll ask about getting a sample of the biocompatible stuff, though hopefully conductivity is roughly the same. Note: biocompatible, in this case, means that it is safe to apply to the surface of skin.

    I'll ask about getting some biocompatible stuff before it goes on sale.
  • i didn't finish reading everyone's posts because i didn't want to forget what i intended to say, so hopefully no one's thought of this yet,but what if you did a tattoo with a nonconducting ink a little deeper and wider, and ran the conductive ink through it, like rubber over a copper wire?
  • and of course saumanai thought of it on the 11th... lol i'm new. 
  • I got my first tattoo when I was 16. It covered from my shoulder blades to my neck (12 hours). My friend did a great job but he used the wrong ink. It faded over the course of six months. 

    The pigskin will be great for conducting power experiments, but I'll be really interested in seeing how it holds in the skin of a living person.
  • So am I.  Despite all logic, I still feel that tattoos are the best way forward for power, if we can just figure out how to do it.
  • Saumanahaii: "Note: biocompatible, in this case, means that it is safe to apply to the surface of skin."  Nono, I meant biocompatible as in safe inside the body, because this could cause a very bad reaction. Get a quote for that and I'll test it on my self... in the name science, of course...
  • They haven't responded yet.  I'm not sure that they will, since I'm asking for a product that isn't out yet.  If I can get a sample, I'll make sure you get some.  Until then, all we have access to is the non-biocompatible stuff.  But that might do for testing feasibility.
  • I have been inquiring around nano labs about possible nanotech solutions for conductive tattoo ink. One response I got leads me to believe that the industry is working on something right now:

    "Many conductive ink applications incorporate silver nanospheres or nanowires to induce conductivity, although unfortunately we currently have limited measurement data on our particles’ conductivity. As far as a bio-safe application for tattoos, I should note that silver particles are known to have some toxicological effects when ingested or applied topically. This is currently a very active topic for research, so we’re not in a position to evaluate or make any claims on safety for use in humans at this time."

  • "Very active topic" is code for "we know fucking nothing about this, and are working as hard as possible to change that." We're *starting* to see results on environmental contamination with silver nanoparticles (first approximation: plants don't like it), so I doubt human toxicity studies are in progress. The toxicological results they mention are either animal models or lab accidents. (",)
  • Pretty much. The silver toxicity she was referencing is most likely Argyria, which, I'm pretty sure, is a condition that Dr. Manhattan suffered from.

    The same company makes gold nano particles. I kind of wonder why she didn't mention those.
  • i would think there is a reasonable difference between something that is properly biocompatable and something that you can use as a tattoo ink, because as far as i knew they use heavy metals in some tattoo inks and its quite safe?

    also, i have no idea if this would come up at all, but it seems like something to at least think about, but how much can the ink in a tattoo move? would having a tattoo for a long time and running a current through it cause the cations to migrate to one side and the anions to migrate to the other? seems unlikely but potentially a concern for something that is long term.
  • Run it on AC haha.

  • BenBen
    edited September 2012
    a) elements that conduct electricity through a magnetic field get "pushed" in a certain direction (depending on the field and direction of current), but I don't think there will be strong enough magnetic fields or currents to make this an issue
    b) if the conducting elements are ions (like salts in watery solution) they move in towards the electrodes, but not if it's just about something conducting like metal-particles. such particles don't have a charge and therefor don't migrate in any direction.

    edit: ac might be the only way to make a "conducting line" out of isolated particles, in a way transforming them into a line of capacitors
  • @Ben the particles of the "conducting line" are not only capacitively coupled between each other but also between itself and the body. with the coupling factor to the body being higher than to the next particle.

    the original problem remains. you need to form a gap-free path for the current. a line of conducting particles touching each other in order to conduct. while beeing insulated against the body.

  • are you sure, that the skin cells (isn't it rather collagene in that particular layer? not sure right now) do conduct a current better to the body than between the particles? I mean, depending on the frequency the "stuff" between the particles could work as a dielectricum and therefor enable them to work as a capacitor.

  • the human body is full of salty fluid. it is definetly not an electrical insulator. i mean you are welcome to try it.
    just from an electric-simulation approach you'd get millions of particle-capacitors with picofarads each, in parallel with a whole network of caps and resistors.
    looking at the other thread about bioproof wiring, it seems a lot less complicated to just stuff i wire below your skin.
  • I'm not completely sure how it would work in reality, but I think that it probably would create quite big resistance - lesser than that of body tissues and plasma/blood (that'd be more of issue - if the injected ink is close to some vessel, and there's thousands of capillaries per cubic millimeter of tissues), but still probably high enough to make electric current seep into tissues, creating shorts unless the tattooed 'wires' would be spaced quite far from each other...

    The idea with dragging a magnet to pull the ink to create better connection, could missfire by either not having enough force to really pull that ink, or if there would be enough force, then you'd either have to have a really steady hand or make really thick lines separated by wide spaces (so no living circuit board ;P ), because otherwise with just a slight twitch of hand you could bridge the lines and short them - and I imagine removing the incorrectly bridged lines would be a pain...

    It could be sort of feasible if the tattoo was done not like normal tattoo into the proper skin layer, but into the epidermis - it has quite big electric resistance, so much less stray currents, much less interference from body's own electricity and EM field... But it would be only temporary lasting probably around a week or two (depending on epidermis regeneration/turnover rate in given person and area of skin). I'm not even sure if 'tattooing' it in such shallow way is possible (I have no experience with tattooing myself)...

    Just a thought:
    How about inserting thin wires into the skin, just like transformer coil winding wires?
    Though I'm not sure if their enamel coat is bioproof or not, plus enamel can chip when bent frequently - but other method of bioproofing might be used...
    Possibly such very thin wire could be inserted (through a needle for example) into the proper skin layer - not under skin like we'd do with larger wires... I guess it could provide better electric connection and characteristics in general than tattooing thanks to being continuous and insulated while at the same time possibly not requiring cutting yourself to insert it... And probably requiring sticking a needle into your skin less times than with tattooing ;P
    And in case of an error you could just pull the wire out like a splinter... It probably wouldn't work well on sensitive parts or with high density in places where skin bends a lot, though I'm not sure if one could feel that wire in the skin or not...
  • edited April 2013
    Hi, all ~

    I'd like to suggest a  couple of candidate components for
    electrically-conductive tattoo inks that  haven't been mentioned as yet.

    First, common graphite; and second, indium-tin oxide. Both are electrically conductive. Graphite has been used as a black tattoo ink by prisoners for quite awhile, and is non-toxic. And with regard to the biocompatibility of ITO, below is an example :

    Biocompatible Retinal Implants by Bill Christensen @ Technovelgy.com http://tinyurl.com/cfd4rv9

    Below is a link to a ( relatively ) recent article about a promising subdermal "tattoo-like" display :

    Electronic Tattoo Display Runs on Blood Feb 21, 2008 by Lisa Zyga "Waterproof and powered by pizza." @ Phys.Org http://tinyurl.com/cvopa63

    I've been following developments in haptic displays since the late '60s,
    with the experiments of Paul Bach-y Rita and his electro-vibro-tactile
    display vests / tubes. Below is a link to a great .PDF that discusses some
    developments along these lines :

    Sensory Substitution Systems by Matthias Schmidmaier ( .PDF ) @ Teezy-Media.de http://tinyurl.com/cfh6htf

  • @Khem_Caigan neither of those two substance solve the earlier mentioned problem. not only do you need conductive ink, but also insulate it against the body.
  • @ThomasEgi injecting lines of biocompatible non-conductors, such as collagen and silicone for example, followed by injecting these lines with conductors answers nicely.
    Takes a dab hand - I suggest active scanning and thermal imaging coupled with a robotic arm in order to lay the lines down at the necessary depth(s) in order to create the enveloping non-conductive conduit and conductive core with precision.
  • i still doubt this would work. you'd have to keep the conductive core entirely away from the body's cells. so you'd have to create a solid silicon-core pushing away the cells. and then injecting conductive ink into the core, and only the core. thermal imaging will only get you the skin temperature and a robotic arm won't do much good on it's own besides beeing an expensive toy. also injecting silicone particles into your body is risky, they could enter the bloodstream and end up clogging thin blood vessles. a very dangerous thing especially inside the brain. people died from this when injecting silicone in home-made breast-enlaregement attempts.

    i'd say it is a lot easier to simply use regular wires, as used in medicine already. a small cut to insert the wire, and a rod to push it down its way. we had a discussion about subdermal wiring.
  • Wouldn't it be better to encapsulate Neodymium-Iron-Boron alloy crystals inside "locked" Buckyballs (Fullerene-C60), suspend them in ink and tattoo it on in a spiral pattern mimicking an induction coil?

    Because using ferromagnetic fluid seems overly crude and like extreme overkill.
    You'd have to use ferromagnetic fluids that are prone to breaking down when stressed (by thermal- or kinetic energy), meaning that scolding your fingers or catching a ball could at best unmagnetize the fluid and at worse poison the user.
    Or you'd have to use insane amounts of research developing an expensive and seemingly biologically safe fluid, with no promise of functionality when scaled (so only tattoos of a certain size would work) or any practical application (which is why Nokia researching this is a huge surprise, given that they're working on an extremely tight budget).

    But Buckyballs are thermally/kinetically/radioactively safe (intense gamma radiation from cancer treatments isn't even enough to break them), biologically neutral (if "locked"), cheap and colorless nano-structures capable of holding fairly large molecules.
    And Neodymium-Iron-Boron alloy has scalable magnetic properties, so at the small scale they can create a combined functional field without attracting each other all that much, which makes them the perfect "nano magnets".
    So when combined, it would create a colorless (which could be colored if the person getting tattooed wants it), stable, non-poisonous and pseudo-magnetoception providing ink. ^_^

    And even if individual Buckyballs were to wander into the body, their biological neutrality means that it would be swept up by the circulatory system and get excreted a few hours taler in the urine. ^_^
  • What would it take to test this?
  • I wonder if graphene, when more widely available would help solve some of these problems.  It has many of the benefits of buckyballs and graphite as it is their 2 dimensional form.  Whether it would work in and of itself or perhaps as an implantable surface upon which to "write."   If so, than even something as complex as a circuit could potentially be written up on it. 
    Granted this is probably years away and "writing" upon it would likely be beyond grinders, as it would likely require facilities that can work with nanotechnology.  
  • Not sure if anyone has found this yet, seems like a bit of a knock off of BareConductive's stuff, though it references it as being able to be used as a tattoo.

  • Has anyone thought of a ring that picks up signals from your cell phone ( say bluetooth for example) and then produces different electromagnet pulses depending on the notification your phone sends? These pulses could be picked up by your finger magnet which will then respond to those pulses like a more personal vibrate mode. This could help hard of hearing people or anyone who sometimes don't feel when your phone vibrates in your pocket.
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