Wearable Tattoo Can Monitor Blood Alcohol Levels with Diagnostic Technologies Familiar to Clinical Laboratory Scientists

The minute electronic device accurately determines alcohol blood levels by sampling the wearer’s sweat

During a night out on the town, what better way for individuals to monitor their consumption of alcohol and blood alcohol levels than by wearing a tattoo that can monitor blood alcohol levels? That’s the vision of researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

This temporary tattoo would be capable of helping an individual determine, “Am I drunk or just slightly buzzed. Am I becoming a public nuisance? Am I able to drive right now?” An innovative, cutting-edge device is being designed to help consumers definitively answer those questions.

Clinical chemists, medical laboratory scientists, and pathologists will be interested in the diagnostic technologies used to accomplish this testing. The device is basically a malleable, temporary tattoo that adheres to the skin and induces sweat. It is equipped with a flexible electronic circuit board and a hydrogel patch that contains pilocarpine, a sweat-inducing drug. The electrodes in the device collect a sample to determine blood alcohol content. That data is then wirelessly transmitted to a mobile device, such as a laptop or a smartphone, and provides an accurate reading of whether or not a person is inebriated. (more…)