Anyone who dreads having to take a trip to the dentist for an uncomfortable seat in the dental chair will be happy to know that Michael McAlpine and a team of researchers from Princeton University have engineered graphene-based sensors that wirelessly monitor bacteria on teeth.
These remote chemical sensors attach to the flat surface of one's teeth and use antimicrobial peptides and a resonant coil to monitor the level of icky microorganisms floating around inside a person's mouth. The gold-colored sensors are nontoxic and extremely flexible to ensure long-wear.
Similar to the way an electronic key card reads information, the sensors connect with a detector to transmit messages about the cleanliness of a tooth to an external device -- all without poking and prodding the gums with the scary, steel tools generally required to garner such information.
The molar markings aren't quite ready for mass production just yet, but a bright future for the pearly white protectors lies ahead.
Bacteria-Detecting Tooth Tattoos
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