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The Kickstarter Presentation © 2015 Living ink
Living Ink is about to produce Ink that disappears a few minutes after paining with it - and then comes back either 3 days or a week later, depending which pen you use. You can write a letter or a picture that changes over time.Its creators were trying to create an eco-friendly alternative to printer ink using algae, but ended up creating invisible ink that magically appears after a few days exposure to sunlight. Scientifically, the Living Ink pens contain cyanobacteria, algae, and chlorophyll in very small amounts that are invisible to the naked eye at first. But when exposed to sunlight, the algae and bacteria reproduce at exponentially, eventually becoming visible to the human eye. 

For the artists, the Living Ink pen also contains disappearing ink so that you’re able to create an initial design on paper. The pink pen contains “fast ink” which then grows in the first one or two days, while the blue pen contains “slow ink” that usually takes about three to four to appear. This allows you to create a two-stage secret reveal over the course of about a week.

Then you put your picture inside a compact greenhouse (which doubles as a picture frame) filled with a nutrient-dense material called agar that promotes the ink’s growth. With enough patience and exposure to the sun, eventually your artistic creation will make its appearance. When removed from the frame the algae and bacteria will eventually die, but the resulting image actually stains the paper so that it won’t fade away. They say, the Living Ink images remain visible and colorful out of the frames for at least two years.


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  1. Anonymous

    Ask out that hot chick in the lab next door (smile) 

    1. Do it! That green ink apparently appears days later:

About the author

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.