New Tattoo Ink Promises Tattoo Removal With Only One Laser Treatment
A newly developed tattoo ink will soften the definition of permanent. The company Freedom-2 Inc. of Camden, New Jersey has created tattoo inks that can be removed with a single laser treatment, which substantially improves upon the standard series of multiple laser treatments needed to destroy tattoo ink within the skin.
Working with scientists at Harvard Medical School, Rutgers-Camden Technology Campus, and Brown University, Freedom-2"! Inc. encapsulated water soluble pigments within polymers. The microencapsulation process in which the pigments are captured within polymers was designed by Edith Mathiowitz of Brown University. When the polymer capsules within the tattooed skin are broken during a single laser treatment, the pigment within becomes unprotected and will gradually be absorbed by the body. Roughly eight weeks are needed for the inks to disappear from the skin.
When Discover Magazine reported on the new tattoo ink, it described the ink release process as similar to how scratch-and-sniff stickers work. The laser treatment is the "scratch" that breaks the inks out of the polymer and lets them dissolve.
The inks developed by Freedom-2 Inc. come in a variety of colors, and the company, as of the end of 2007, was poised to begin large scale production and market the inks to tattoo artists. The company says that the tattoo pigments are organic and designed to minimize adverse physical reactions like allergies when released into the body during a tattoo removal. For example, vegetable based substances like beta carotene that comes from carrots go into the pigments.
Freedom-2 Inc. has put considerable investments into developing the easy to remove tattoo inks. The Courier-Post of Camden, New Jersey reported that the tattoo ink company raised $5.5 million from a New York group of investors and will then need another $5 million to cover start up costs of manufacturing and marketing the inks.
The option to choose easier to remove tattoo inks could ease misgivings about the permanency of tattoos that some people have. And even when people are totally committed to a tattoo, the use of the inks developed by Freedom-2 Inc. would come in handy in the event of a change of heart in the future.
With tattoos becoming a common part of many people's lives, there has been a rise in the number of people who want to remove tattoos. A Harris Interactive Survey found that tattoos inspired by former lovers and spouses are the number one type of tattoos that people want to remove. So, when love doesn't last forever, the tattoo doesn't have to either with the new inks.
"Tattoo Technology Gives Exit Strategy" by Eileen Smith, Courier-Post, November 4th, 2007.
"Regret-Me-Not" by Morgen Peck, Discover Magazine, November 2007, p. 12.