bringing home the bacon

here is a quick guide to something a lot of people have asked about: the bacon test. this is a quick test to see if something you've made or bought is a good candidate to be implanted inside you somewhere. it's a way of checking how good the bioproofing on whatever you're testing is - so you can use it to test items you've bought from wherever, especially if they're not generally meant to be implanted anywhere, or on items you made yourself, which is where the test becomes much more useful and important. there's no need to bacon test something like Steve Haworth's magnets or Amal's chips, for example, but i wouldn't skip testing on things i've made or modified myself. i did that once and it's resulted in a weird janky looking giant lump on the finger i put the component in, plus a completely broken implant of course. (more on failures at the end of this post.)

passing this test doesn't mean your implant definitely will succeed in vivo, but it means it's worth trying. once again i am no doctor and none of this constitutes either medical advice or me telling you to go put things inside you.

things you need before you can do the test:
- your component
- your coating material

okay so first up you coat up your component. here a busted RFID field detecting LED sticker from Dangerous Things is standing in for ours, which in your test can be anything you want or are experimenting with, really. i'm coating it with plain old hot glue.

things you need for the test:
- a piece of pork or bacon that you don't mind throwing away (this here is a gone-off pork steak, but normally i use bacon.)
- hand sanitiser / gloves
- tweezers if your meat piece is very thick
- sharp knife, ditto
- cling film

here's the coated up component, ready to be inserted.

sanitise your hands or put your gloves on and get your piece of meat ready. it might need washing or cleaning off or whatever. here's mine - it's a pork steak, and if it hadn't gone off it would've been delicious.

make an incision as shown. if you're using a bacon rasher, that might not be possible. with those you just roll up the component inside the rasher, putting it at the centre of the layers so it's as deep inside the meat as possible (hurr hurr.)

put the component inside using your tweezers if you need them. if you've a thick bit, it helps to make the cut at an angle so you can put the component under the little flap it creates.

once this is done, you wrap the meat up in cling film and store it in the fridge for a week or so. after enough time has elapsed, you get it back out, unwrap / unroll it and have a good close look at the component. if it's rusty or discoloured under the coating in any way, it's failed. if nothing looks wrong, it will need re-sterilising before you put it into yourself anywhere, so i recommend doing this test on a second device or failing that, doing it only once you've sorted out a good means of sterilisation such as Milton solution, ethanol, etc. failure means that if you do implant it, it's likely to get encapsulated; as i said, i did this years ago in a really dumb kind of "nah, it'll be fine" moment with a homebrew magnetic node implant.

here's the result as it looks today: you can see the dark mass of where the implant used to be, which is the neodymium core all broken down from where my tissue reacted and attacked it. it's very much bigger than the original implant too, which is because your body doesn't just break substances like Nd down but also coats them in a giant ball of scar tissue if it cannot push them out of the site. you really don't want this to happen - not only will your device not work, but the place you put it in could potentially be ruined, especially if it's a sensitive site like your fingertips. also it's not exactly aesthetically pleasing to have big giant lumps of stuff stuck to you. they don't hurt, but they do look pretty gross. learn from my mistakes, sibs. i am the biohacking Goofus to your Gallant.

hope this has helped a few of you perform your own weird experiments. thanks to everyone who helps make mine possible - i know you've wanted personal updates, so these are coming in a separate post. carpe corporem



Dan Campbell said...

Cool. This makes perfect sense, but it never occurred to me you could test bio-compatible components, this way.

"Bringing home the bacon" - You've been waiting a long time to use that line, haven't you?

L & R,


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