Could a tattoo help you stay healthy? | Carson Bruns

  • Published on Jun 4, 2019
  • Can we make tattoos both beautiful and functional? Nanotechnologist Carson Bruns shares his work creating high-tech tattoos that react to their environment -- like color-changing ink that can tell you when you're getting a sunburn -- and shows exciting ways they can deliver real-time information about our health.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 298

  • The Laughing Dove
    The Laughing Dove 15 days ago


  • CHARLIEM1010
    CHARLIEM1010 16 days ago

    I believe this has the ability to do more harm than good. Like government forcing people to get tattoos for all kinds of nefarious purposes. No thank you.

  • jasmine Larsonion
    jasmine Larsonion 17 days ago


  • Valentin Popescu
    Valentin Popescu 19 days ago

    Ready for the chip kids? Hahah what a joke

  • Kingsman315
    Kingsman315 20 days ago

    That UV tattoo sounds awesome! But.. my only question is about the long term effects for your health.

  • schwoogie78
    schwoogie78 20 days ago it can't you moron

  • K1lostream
    K1lostream 21 day ago

    Candidate for the worst TED talk. This seems like a guy that is into tattoos trying to contrive a way to make his interest relevant - I neither need nor want colour-changing tattoos to tell me when I need to re-apply sunscreen or when I am sick.
    Now if he'd said he'd invented a tattoo ink that actually WORKED as sunscreen when it was exposed to UV, and you'd never need to apply it again, then he'd have gotten my interest.

  • Isaac Brown Media
    Isaac Brown Media 21 day ago

    Mark of the beast.

  • Aliciapher
    Aliciapher 25 days ago

    This is amazing!! Not going to lie I would LOVE the UV tattoo.

  • J Coolverine
    J Coolverine Month ago

    one in four Americans has a tattoo? lol, the brainwash is real... I am happy that didn't make tattoo when it was uncool cause now I would regret it

  • rajan paudel
    rajan paudel Month ago

    Tattoos as a programmer, computer scientist.

  • tanya mullen
    tanya mullen Month ago

    Wow. Amazing.

  • Yuuji Lee
    Yuuji Lee Month ago

    ok i would want this kind of tattoo

  • Useer naame
    Useer naame Month ago +2

    Refreshing to hear people gasp about something meaningful instead of screaming because Apple is finally catching up to something basic

  • Nicolás Sandoval Montoya

    Amazing!! GREAT JOOOOB!

  • Reid Clanton
    Reid Clanton Month ago

    Where can I get a uv tattoo I want one

  • weehawk
    weehawk Month ago +8

    But when I can I tattoo sunscreen right onto my skin so I never have to apply it again???

  • Alissa L
    Alissa L Month ago

    Mark of the Beast!

  • Angela Bardon
    Angela Bardon Month ago


  • deeksha prasad
    deeksha prasad Month ago

    It's a good idea that the UV activated ink shows that it's time to apply sunscreen but how stable those ink are gonna be.? Because the soot or the dye used are in itself is a source of chronic irritation to skin cells.. Will Adding the heat sensitivity and UV sensitivity to them a safe idea?

  • Anni Psy
    Anni Psy Month ago


  • Charles Beckham
    Charles Beckham Month ago

    I know, how about a tattoo that allows a person to buy or sell. I recommend on the forehead or hand

  • DSlyde
    DSlyde Month ago +9

    This is very cool. I knew someone with CIPA. Because she couldn't feel temperature or regulate her own body temperature, she had some close calls with hyperthermia (usually hot days + physical exertion). This sounds like it would have been perfect for her.

  • Maggie Daniel
    Maggie Daniel Month ago

    This was such an amazing talk...

  • Pharll Slim
    Pharll Slim Month ago

    Excellent, I want one

  • Astral'o Pithecus
    Astral'o Pithecus Month ago +32

    A tattoo that tells if your blood's alcohol content is too high to drive.

  • Astral'o Pithecus
    Astral'o Pithecus Month ago +12

    I just hope they don't create a tattoo ink that tells if you're high on drugs and governments decide to make it compulsory for everyone.

    • whatsupbudbud
      whatsupbudbud 16 days ago +1

      Too many people use something so highly unlikely. Then again, plebs have little say in politics, so food for thought.

    • 2 Train
      2 Train Month ago

      Lisergiko bro

  • Birtha Butt
    Birtha Butt Month ago

    What a bunch of pedantic bull

  • Jarryd Watts
    Jarryd Watts Month ago +1

    10:40 Should have said.. "I believe the dye is the limit, for what we can do with high tech tattoos" Heh heh.

  • Nature's Infinite WELLth

    We are magical, sense-sation-all creatures, as all divine nature is. We don't need this. Don't mess with nature.

  • El Fougere
    El Fougere Month ago

    I already saw this video...
    Why did they repost it ?

  • Sean S
    Sean S Month ago +1

    I’m happy to donate my skin for ink tests, as long as I can pick the artist.

  • Sophie Hannig
    Sophie Hannig Month ago +2

    Need the solar freckle ASAP

  • Grendel's mom's boyfriend

    These are intriguing ideas, but some people can't get tattoos, and a lot of people wouldn't benefit from some of these tattoos.

  • Ibsizzle
    Ibsizzle Month ago

    Far Cry 3, anyone?

  • Ayham Ahmad
    Ayham Ahmad Month ago

    Great talk.keep up you detection about tattoos.

  • Eugene Lee
    Eugene Lee Month ago

    WTF lol liking the world more and more

  • Mike C
    Mike C Month ago +1

    Tattoos are gross.

  • Mike C
    Mike C Month ago +1

    Otzi is not alive and therefor not living.

    • Frank G
      Frank G Month ago

      Mike C Yeah this guy is an idiot.

  • Saad MAFiA
    Saad MAFiA Month ago

    the voice is a little high pitch, i put it one semitone down and it feels more natural, what's wrong with me !

  • Samisnotbritish
    Samisnotbritish Month ago

    Can I ask what the purpose of the nanocapsules is? Like I love all these ideas but couldn't the UV-sensitive dye just be directly used for the tattoo?

  • CelloAfterDark
    CelloAfterDark Month ago

    So cool!!

  • The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended

    кольщик, наколи мне куполааа.

  • Kaymore Green
    Kaymore Green Month ago

    New RUclipr: Kaymore Green

  • Thompson L
    Thompson L Month ago

    Michael Jackson would have spearheaded this technology.

  • Coitus Scorpii
    Coitus Scorpii Month ago

    " older than the pyramids " ... 5300 years...

    • Coitus Scorpii
      Coitus Scorpii Month ago

      negative. there is absolutely no proof of this. the Egyptian archeological group would agree with you, but their ideas are biased. there is literally no record of it's age or construction.

    • Juin U
      Juin U Month ago

      yes it is
      the oldest pyramid is built only about 4700 years ago

  • Robin Wolf
    Robin Wolf Month ago +1

    What a cutie pie

  • J Norfleet
    J Norfleet Month ago

    Tattoos are like putting bumper stickers on a Lamborghini, they tell you everything you need to know about the driver 😂

  • Sato Yoshihisa
    Sato Yoshihisa Month ago

    Only stupid people do tattoo.

  • Paul Teich
    Paul Teich Month ago

    Do you know about the cobra snake tattoo Cult. In India they just have too many cobras so they take green ink mix it with cobra venom and start tattooing when you get to a certain amount of tattoo you’re immune to cobra venom and their bite and they go into peoples houses and remove cobras tattoos used for so many purposes I would like to find out if any of these people inoculated with cobra venom ever get sick again the answer is no And that is tattooing for health

  • Paul Teich
    Paul Teich Month ago

    I’m a doctor I have three tattoos one honors my healing Art one honors the witches who passed healing information along when they were the doctors there was no medical school and doctors only killed people and one of them honors 1000-year-old ninja martial art I studied under the grandmaster all his black belt Scott one I actually won a tattoo contest at a Harley Davidson convention oh aren’t I Alternative I’m on RUclip I’m in the Kindle book store blessings

  • Christopher Gruenwald
    Christopher Gruenwald Month ago +2

    How about a tattoo that protects your most vulnerable spots from uv instead of telling you to apply sunscreen.

    • Keith Klassen
      Keith Klassen Month ago

      Sadly that's impossible. Tattoos exist inside the skin, and cannot prevent UV from reaching the thing that covers them.

  • Z M
    Z M Month ago +9

    I came in here with a negative personal bias. After listening to the talk, I found it intriguing and I can see the possibilities of this technology, but at the same time it can also present a lot of risks that we don't fully understand, just like every other technological advancements. It'll garner an interesting discussion for sure! I'd be interested to hear some of the discussions this will generate.

  • Helium Valentine
    Helium Valentine Month ago

    Of course this talk was in Denver: Everyone in Colorado over 18 is tatted up.

  • tiffsaver
    tiffsaver Month ago

    Throughout modern history, tattoos were the mark of drunken sailors, prostitutes, and criminals, thus the term, "jailhouse tats." It seems as though nothing has changed.

  • Atomiser
    Atomiser Month ago

    It's really clever but it's Messing with nature I'm not down with this idea.

  • butterygold
    butterygold Month ago +7

    I don't like tattoos but this idea is amazing! (functional tattoos)

  • Atomiser
    Atomiser Month ago

    I would love to see you go head to head with stephanie seneff. she talks about the the skin and how it need the sun in small doses. To produce sulfate for one. Kind of make more sense to me.

  • lemme get uhh
    lemme get uhh Month ago


  • Roland Peter
    Roland Peter Month ago

    How does it work with laser tattoo removal?

  • John Derick Vargas
    John Derick Vargas Month ago


  • ᴏɴɪᴏɴ ᴋɴɪɢʜᴛ

    Bruh. Mindblown. i know this uv changing tattoo is gonna cost thousands of dollars but i definitely need one

  • Bill
    Bill Month ago +1

    Tattoos are NOT beautiful, and the older a tattoo gets the worse it looks. For the most part one does not find tattoos on higher class people. One does find lots of tattoos on gang members and hard core criminals, so why would one want to mark themselves with a tattoo. People have said if you want to find a looser find a woman with a tattoo. As soon as she gets that first tattoo she is a loser. This guy has marked his body up with tattoos and now he wants all people to mark their bodies. This guy is not high class. And tattoos are not cool, My advice is not to mark your body with a or Tattoos as one would mark cattle that they own. Shame on this guy he does not seem to be very high class, and for sure he should not be given a platform to talk about how great tattoos are.

    • Rei Ayanami
      Rei Ayanami Month ago

      He is doing research in nanotechnology and is professor ln an university. To me he has a good life and definitely he is not a criminal

  • Bartłomiej Jaworski

    F yeah

  • Andrea Sch.
    Andrea Sch. Month ago

    When talking about "weakness" he sounds a bit as if he was talking about the Death Eater mark from HP xD

  • Alexandra Khromushina
    Alexandra Khromushina Month ago +1

    Wow, I absolutely love the talk and the idea behind it)

  • nanomaine
    nanomaine Month ago

    Carson Bruns: You must see the Dermal Display video, by 'nanogirl' Gina Miller:

  • Omkar Pandey
    Omkar Pandey Month ago

    I admire the UV rays detection tatto technology. In how many days is this tattoo-tech likely to come?

  • psifigal
    psifigal Month ago +1

    Anyone else think he's really hot? And super smart and has some great ideas!

  • Holly Fenwick
    Holly Fenwick Month ago +2

    This is SUCH a good idea!

  • Mmm K
    Mmm K Month ago +1

    Some great ideas, I hope they become useful for many people. I especially like the UV detecting tattoos, you could make an interesting tattoo with it, and like invisible ink it would only show up in UV light, kinda like a secret tattoo :)

    • nghĩa lê
      nghĩa lê Month ago +1

      people do that, but there are specific risks, UV-sensitive ink is made of phosphorus which can be harmful to your body

  • Blue Moon
    Blue Moon Month ago

    ... many inks used for tattoos have heavy metals in them ... which leads to or adds to the toxicity in your body ... I can only imagine the toxicity of the materials it would require to accomplish what this man would like to with his smart tattoos ... And with the coming widespread use of 5G wireless, your body would be like an antenna... I can sum it up into two words “UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES “ ...

  • Naddel_
    Naddel_ Month ago

    Interesting, yet scary technology.
    Will take my time to get used to the idea. Especially since I'm a huge adversary
    against tattoos.

  • residue junkie
    residue junkie Month ago

    Chances are slim any of you care, but Leviticus 19:28.

  • Jay Bojorquez
    Jay Bojorquez Month ago

    Now that's what I call fucking innovation!!!! About time I saw a TED worthy talk! It's been a while.
    Now we're going to have those blue light up tattoos like that cartoon movie Atlantis lol

  • Cdnmetalgal
    Cdnmetalgal Month ago +4

    Everytime I hear the word Nano I think of Liz Holmes 😏

  • Audrey Ryan
    Audrey Ryan Month ago

    In a perfect world, it sounds like a wonderful idea. In our world, Big Brother would find a way to pervert it & add tracking devices or something else nefarious.

    • Aaron Rosenberg
      Aaron Rosenberg Month ago

      The world was never perfect and it never will be. It's still a good thing to march forward with science.

  • yo
    yo Month ago +2

    Love his laugh 7:26
    Very interesting talk
    (I'm from the Basque Country)

  • Gaysian_american
    Gaysian_american Month ago

    So an iratze

  • Thia Love
    Thia Love Month ago

    Does a constant brain fart say something might NOT be healthy!?

  • King Doggo
    King Doggo Month ago +3

    Yay now i can charge my phone without electric outlets or power banks!

    • King Doggo
      King Doggo Month ago

      @Astral'o Pithecus wat do u mean

    • Astral'o Pithecus
      Astral'o Pithecus Month ago

      Just borrow electricity from your pacemaker...Go figure -.-

  • Riley Imsong
    Riley Imsong Month ago

    Hmm.. should I get a tattoo?

  • anon
    anon Month ago

    Probably not

  • The Sneezing Picture

    First in line for Airbending Master tattoos.

  • Kumar Rahul
    Kumar Rahul Month ago

    ... And this video just has 27k views....Wow, why ?

  • Tuấn Nguyễn
    Tuấn Nguyễn Month ago

    Who come here to to learn English

  • TheHatter
    TheHatter Month ago

    Peter F Hamilton anyone?

  • Nikki A
    Nikki A Month ago

    A tattoo that curbs my hunger, helps me lose weight and be healthy? A tattoo that helps people quit smoking or break addictions? Brilliant!!!

  • Nor Cal Sisters
    Nor Cal Sisters Month ago +3

    This talk is absolutely AMAZING !!! Thank you.

  • Leiber LYU
    Leiber LYU Month ago +4

    After seeing the tattoo on his arm, I think I already get the answer.

  • Khalaf R
    Khalaf R Month ago

    There is no change about tattoos!
    Art is beautiful but tattoo is not, tattoo is violation of body rights to keep it healthy & in good shape.
    No one owns his body in terms of doing whatever he/she likes with it. It is a mean to live through this life & hand it over back safe & sound as much as possible to our creator.

    • Khalaf R
      Khalaf R Month ago

      @Aaron Rosenberg
      This is up to u, whether u want to remove the curtains before ur eyes to find & comprehend the Creator existence evidences & proofs or not.
      Man can't make a fly or even a single cell living being, not mentioning the complex human body & other creatures to the unknown vast universe which man can't even understand or reach, from death to disease man is powerless without his Creator.
      At the end as mentioned it is up to u!

    • Aaron Rosenberg
      Aaron Rosenberg Month ago +1

      Unfortunately, nobody has ever provided evidence for your "creator," despite millennia of desperate assertions. You could as easily and by the same illogic deny medication. Superstition has clouded your thinking.

  • Sam GorJess
    Sam GorJess Month ago +3

    I love tattoos for no any special reasons. Just that I want to mark something I want on my skin, that's it, and they make me feel great inside being myself, not being so much under pressure to be a good girl.

    • OkBk
      OkBk 22 days ago

      Sam GorJess that’s not a good reason to want a tattoo

  • 1GoldRunner
    1GoldRunner Month ago

    This guys hot when you keep the volume on mute.

  • madison king
    madison king Month ago

    These all sound impractical but the UV tattoo would be cool

  • Kesha Valdes
    Kesha Valdes Month ago +1

    This is such an amazing concept! Something he did not mention is that diabetics have no way of really telling if their blood sugar is high or low except by using a blood sugar monitor, which means manually pricking the finger or forearm and taking a reading. It would be absolutely awesome if there was a tattoo ink that could turn blue for low blood sugar or red for high blood sugar and be invisible or skin tone when blood sugar is within normal limits. Just a thought, but such an awesome concept!

    • Sidilicious
      Sidilicious Month ago

      Kesha Valdes great idea! Seems possible.

  • shankar TN
    shankar TN Month ago

    great talk!

  • AceAlbatros
    AceAlbatros Month ago +2

    0:29 he says it like a kid saying “ya wanna see a dead body” lol

  • Saleika Wilson
    Saleika Wilson Month ago +2

    What a brilliant mind you have. As a blind person this sadly would only work if a person with sight could look at it for me. Do you foresee a tactile tattoo one day in the distant future? Braille tattoos could that be done.

    • Sidilicious
      Sidilicious Month ago

      Saleika Wilson I bet it’ll be very possible!

    • My nigga Doppio
      My nigga Doppio Month ago

      How did you wrote if you're blind?

  • KV
    KV Month ago +18

    The guy has some legit ideas.

  • yuranival
    yuranival Month ago +8

    Title is slightly misleading, but the idea is viable, although not properly visible to many people due to its early stages.
    In future, once these solutions become more formed, applicable and stable, many may possibly prefer a tattoo, rather than a piece of technology implanted for multiple reasons. Good luck with research and development!
    Also I say you can put tattoos on your body. I don't have a book yet, but you can quote this comment and use as a reference.

    • Kapin #1801
      Kapin #1801 Month ago +2

      I for one would feel more comfortable having some stripes on my arm than lugging around a UV sensor, that's for sure. :P