Thursday, July 12, 2007

Researchers develop removeable permanent tattoo

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For anyone who worries they might one day be jilted or might eventually want their cryptic body symbols removed, there's a new tattoo process that can be permanent or removed at the wearer's discretion.

The technique had been developed to make consumer products such as aspirin and cake mix. The process, in which particles are suspended in a biodegradable polymer coating, is called microencapsulation. The resulting microcapsules—some as small as the point of a pin—can carry any molecule that needs protection or controlled release.

Now scientists at Brown University have made microencapsulated beads filled with dyes. These beads are mixed with a solution to make tattoo ink. Free of heavy metals and other toxins, the ink is safer than conventional products and is easily removed. When you want to wipe "Veronica" or "Jake" off your arm, a single laser treatment breaks the beads, allowing the body to naturally expel the dye trapped inside and bring a formal end to that old fling. Link

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