more tattoo chemistry

...Sadly, without any pictures.[1] No, this is actually something I came across in Anal Chem, by way of Google.[2] It piqued my interest by mentioning the word "laser." ...No, seriously it was the title that got me. "Establishment of an Extraction Method for the Recovery of Tattoo Pigments from Human Skin Using HPLC Diode Array Detector Technology." I've highlighted a few words to demonstrate just how weirded out I was by the concept.

Yes indeed. They took little centimeter-square pieces of skin, scalpeled off the fat, and powdered it. This is a side of analytical chemistry you don't often think about. Imagine how interesting the subject would become (to psycho serial killers?) if the experiments were less of "gravimetric analysis of chlorine in unknown sample" and more like this.[3] If I were teaching an analytical class, I'd SO cover this. It might actually kept people awake.

I actually suggest reading the whole thing. It's maybe a little long, but there's some nice background about ink as well.

[1] Milo, was it you who said you had eleven? And you haven't sent pictures? This makes me sad.
[2] Disclaimer: I am SO not an analytical chemist. (Oh, wait. There is that "job" thing. Well...I'm an analytical chemist when they pay me for it, then.)


Milo said...

I have a "Don't show only tell" policy regarding the ink :-)

Chemgeek said...

If I had a tattoo, I'd totally donate it to science... When I was dead of course.