Pain-free tattoos? The company Micro Biomedical, backed by a study at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says it's developed painless and bloodless tattoos that can be self-administered.

After all, getting a tattoo can be a painful affair, depending on one's tolerance for pain. What if there was a painless way to do it?

The new biomedical tech involves a low-cost skin patch containing microscopic, ink-filled needles. The patch is pressed into the skin to apply the tattoo, and the "microneedles" can be arranged in different shapes to create a design, as Digital Trends reported.

"We've miniaturized the needle so that it's painless but still effectively deposits tattoo ink in the skin," Micro Biomedical head Mark Prausnitz explains.

The painless tattoo process was developed within the realm of medical tattoos. Medical tattoos often cover up scars or restore nipples after breast surgery, among many other applications.

"This could be a way not only to make medical tattoos more accessible but also to create new opportunities for cosmetic tattoos because of the ease of administration," Prausnitz says.

A tattoo artist works on a customer's tattoo.
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While it may not replace traditional tattooing, the new technology could represent another option for those wishing to be tattooed but wanting to avoid pain.

"While some people are willing to accept the pain and time required for a tattoo," Prausnitz muses, "we thought others might prefer a tattoo that is simply pressed onto the skin and does not hurt."

The painless tattoos also have an advantage over traditional ones — they can be secret.

"The researchers even created patches sensitive to environmental factors such as light or temperature changes," the study says, "where the tattoo will only appear with an ultraviolet light or higher temperatures." The research paper also says the tattoos last at least a year and are "likely" permanent. Read the study here.

Prausnitz adds that Micro Biomedical's "goal isn't to replace all tattoos, which are often works of beauty created by tattoo artists. Our goal is to create new opportunities for patients, pets, and people who want a painless tattoo that can be easily administered."

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