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Tattoos for Health: The Future of Smart Tattoos by Carson Bruns

November 24, 2019 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tattoos for Health: The Future of Smart Tattoos by Carson Bruns

November 24, 2019 | 7:00 p.m.

Location: Valdres 206 at Luther College

Find out about Dr. Bruns work as director of the Emergent Nanomaterials Lab, where they develop tattoo inks that serve a functional purpose beyond the decorative and aesthetic. There will be a reception in the Valdres Building following the event.

Although tattooing is a very ancient practice, until recently innovations in tattoo technology have been limited. “At the Emergent Nanomaterials Lab, tattoo inks act as a medium for embedding useful microscopic implants in the skin. Relying on nanotechnology, we design tattoos that impart the skin with new properties, such as enhanced sensitivity to, or protection from, damaging radiation and temperatures,” Dr. Bruns said.

Scientists at the lab hope to use these high-tech tattoos to power biomedical devices and wearable technologies, monitor and diagnose health issues, and augment human sensing and self-expression.

A creator of color-changing tattoo inks and shape-shifting molecular machines, Dr. Bruns uses nanoscience to invent new materials and technologies. He has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including the celebrated book “The Nature of the Mechanical Bond: From Molecules to Machines,” with Nobel Laureate J. Fraser Stoddart.

Along with his work at the Emergent Nanomaterials Lab, Dr. Bruns is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering with the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work on biomedical tattoos for human health has been featured in such outlets as TEDx talk, “Inked Magazine,” and “Chemical and Engineering News.” He received a BA in Chemistry and Religion at Luther College, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Northwestern University.

This presentation is in connection with Vesterheim’s exhibit Tattoo: Identity Through Ink. Find out more about the exhibit here.

The exhibit is sponsored by Nick and Courtney Rowley. This event is in partnership with the Nordic Studies Department and Chemistry Department at Luther College.


November 24, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM