Drawing On Popular Culture

Drawing On Popular Culture

Drawing On Popular Culture


Using tattooing to introduce biology, the concept borrows on tattoo arts’ mainstream recognition to entice students. In short, an embedding of scientific knowledge within an immediately relevant topic. Despite comparatively technical terminology the article details considerations that should ideally be further understood by artists and clients alike. The latest entry in the academic discussions sections, large expansions are planned for the guide over the coming months

| ‘Because tattoos are applied to the skin, the process turns skin anatomy into a teaching moment. Two mutually dependent layers make up the skin: the epidermis and the dermis. There are four anatomical layers (called strata) of epidermis on the human body; they are derived from the ectoderm. From the most superficial to the deepest, those layers are called the stratum corneum (20-30 cell layers thick), stratum granulosum (3-5 cell layers thick), stratum spinosum (5-10 cell layers thick), and stratum basale (1 cell layer thick). Cells at the surface are dead, whereas the deeper layers closer to the dermis are living cells. At areas of high friction (feet and palms of the hands), an extra layer called the stratum lucidum is between the stratum granulosum and the stratum spinosum. Dermis rests on the subcutaneous fatty layer called the panniculus adiposus. The area that adheres the epidermis to the dermis is referred to as the dermoepidermal junction and has two layers; the lamina lucida connects to the epidermis, and the lamina densa connects to the dermis. Dermis is derived from the mesoderm, and its main function is to sustain and support the epidermis
To apply a tattoo, the artist pulls the skin tight and adjusts the rate at which the needle delivers ink to ensure that a sufficient force is supplied to the needle, which is a function of the client’s body fat ratio and the chosen area for the tattoo application (professional tatto artist Michael Adkins, pers. comm.). A solid needle injects ink pigments as a suspension into the skin dermis approximately 1-4 mm deep. The process destroys the four layers of epidermis, the layer between the epidermis and dermis, and the first layer of dermis as the needle penetrates the skin to deliver the ink. Skin can vary, depending on its anatomic location and the sex and age of the individual. Skin thickness depends on dermal, not epidermal, thickness. Because epidermis does not contain blood vessels, bleeding occurs only when the artist has punctured down into the dermal region (at least) with the needle
After ink delivery, granulation tissue forms, trapping the dye in fibroblasts in the superficial dermis. The ability to properly apply a tattoo is related to the experience of the artist. If the ink is not applied to the correct skin layer, the body will shed the tattoo as the epidermis is naturally shed. The initial vibrancy of a tattoo fades quickly because only a portion of the ink stays in the dermis; an unknown fraction of pigment is moved by the lymphatic system. When tattoos are applied to hands and feet, color or vibrancy fades faster because the tattoo is applied below one more skin layer. Because tattooing involves both the homogenization of the epidermal surface and the implantation of foreign ink in the dermal layer, cellular death occurs and results in a scabbing process… | full article

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