The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and MIT researchers have created a safe ink that can be applied to the skin next to the vaccine. The ink is visible only when using a smartphone application that emits light, revealing the brand.
Researchers have found a "secret" way to incorporate the registration of a vaccination directly into the patient's skin rather than electronically or on paper. In this way, the developed tracking system could simplify maintaining accurate vaccination records.
“In areas where paper-based vaccination cards are often lost or missing, and electronic databases are unheard of, this technology can enable anonymous and early detection of patients' vaccination history to ensure all children are vaccinated, ”he explained in announcement, Kevin McHugh, MIT researcher and one of the study's authors, cited by Tech Channel.
The "secret tattoos" project that accompanies vaccines came from a direct request from Microsoft founder Bill Gates himself, who has been involved for years in efforts to eradicate polio and measles, for example.
According to the article published This month in Science Translational Medicine, the "secret" mark is made from a kind of tiny dot sticker – tiny light-reflecting semiconductor crystals – that shines under infrared light. At the time of vaccination, both the signal and the vaccine are released into the skin using these microneedles.
So far, according to Futurism, the system is just a proof of concept and not ready for use. However, scientists have already tested the application on mice and found that the patterns were still detectable nine months after the injection. In human skin models, the patterns lasted over five years with simulated sun exposure.
"It is possible someday that this invisible approach could create new possibilities for data storage applications, biosensors and vaccines that could improve the way healthcare is provided, especially in developing countries," explains Robert Langer, professor and senior author. from MIT.