Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has made tennis history by winning a record 23rd Grand Slam tournament at the French Open in Paris. The controversial star is well-known for promoting wellness fads and pseudoscience and was spotted wearing a ‘nanotechnology patch’ throughout the tournament in Paris. Djokovic claimed that it was the “biggest secret of his career” and without the device, he would not have achieved what he has professionally.

What on earth is that? You may well ask.

Here is the answer to that question from the manufacturer of the device:

Taopatch uses nanotechnology material. Nanotechnology it is the study and application of exceedingly small things, in the range of 1 to 100 nanometers. It has become important in many fields: chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, medicine, and others. Taopatch® is a small disk, 1 cm in diameters and less than 1 mm thick, containing nanoparticles called “quantum dots” with a hypoallergenic coating. These quantum dots “pick up” infrared radiation from the body and emit another radiation in the range of visible light, like that used by the low-level and ultra-low-level laser therapy (Scoppa et al., 2016) plus far Infrared, near Infrared and nourishing UV light. These photons exert a favorable effect when applied to sensitive points of the human body (acupuncture points). These devices have been certified by an independent laboratory to be free of any substances having a pharmacological action that may be released and absorbed by subjects who place the devices on the skin.


Balance, posture, movement, and sports

The upright posture marks a great achievement in its evolutionary path, allowing it to integrate itself more efficiently with the environment. Balance, movement efficiency, and muscle coordination are important for human activity. Electromagnetic fields interact with biological structures and may improve these functions of the organism, as is demonstrated in the following studies. The effect of the Taopatch® on the posture control of 45 healthy subjects and two multiple sclerosis patients was studied by Genua et al. (2015/2016). The purpose of posture is the maintenance of balance. Thus, 15 healthy subjects were given the Taopatch®, 15 a placebo, and 15 were control subjects. The researchers demonstrated an improvement of the relationship between balance and energy expenditure for the subjects using the device relative to placebo and control subjects. These results further suggested the application of nanotechnology devices to rehabilitation protocols and sports. This research is being continued on the use of the devices by multiple sclerosis patients.

A careful analysis of the effect of quantum dot devices (referred to as “H. I. T. postural devices”) was done by Di Summa et al., 2018. The devices were applied to 20 subjects with no equilibrium disorders. The subjects, aged between 25 and 35 years old, underwent standard stabilometric examinations (the study of body sway during quiet standing). The tests showed a statistically significant improvement in posture, meaning an increased accuracy for voluntary movements. The researchers concluded that the electromagnetic devices interact with the human electromagnetic fields, acting on the postural control system’s components.

Malchiodi Albedi et al. (2017) studied the effect of Taopatch® devices on the postural control of a set of 30 female, healthy subjects. As in the previously mentioned study, stabilometric tests were performed. Active patches were applied to 15 subjects, and sham patches to other 15 subjects in a double-blind protocol. The comparison of active patches vs. sham patches (placebos) showed an evident decrease in the sway path for the active patches, strong evidence of improved posture control.

Carbonari et al. (2020) evaluated the effect of occlusal splints and Taopatch® devices on athletes’ muscular performance, balance, and posture. A set of tests were completed: surface electromyography (sEMG), kinesiography, the squat jump and counter movement jump, and the handgrip test. The results demonstrated that the occlusal splint and Taopatch® applied alone or together immediately improved strength and balance.

Help for patients with multiple sclerosis

Lomeo et al. (2019) evaluated the use of nanotechnological devices for posture control, range of motion of the joints, and general well-being on patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Two Taopatch® devices were applied to 28 patients. This research showed that this technology improves movement, proprioception, balance, and general well-being.

The protocols included the self-evaluation test SF-36 Health Survey (a questionnaire to indicate the health status), the international index EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale, a method of quantifying disability in multiple sclerosis and monitoring changes over time), and several accelerometer tests (lower limbs, lumbar flexion, and head movements).

The SF-36 and EDSS tests clearly indicated an improvement in the well-being of the patients. In particular, the SF-36 test demonstrated ameliorations in physical activity, pain, general health, vitality, social activities, emotional and mental health. The improvements were maintained after one year.

The accelerometer tests showed significant improvements in the left hip, right hip, and lumbar inflections. It is important to note that the improvements appear at three months and are also maintained after one year.

Help for dental care of handicapped subjects

Patients with motor, psychomotor, sensory, or intellectual handicaps may present problems for dental care administration. A group of seven patients with light-moderate handicaps (2 with autism, 2 unable to walk due to a stroke, 1 with Parkinson, 1 with Martin-Bell syndrome, 1 with 21 trisomy) were treated with and without the application of Taopatch® (Sedran et al., 2017). The device permitted better management of the procedure, with less fatigue for the patients and more comfort for the operator.

Improvement of antioxidative defense of cells and cell proliferation in biological models

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are significant environmental contaminants. At high ROS concentrations, damage to cellular components occurs, such as proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. The activity of patches containing nanocrystals in the presence of ROS was studied for two biological models, Saccaromyces cerevisiae colonies and Pisum sativum plants. (Benedetti et al., 2018). The patches were exposed to the radiation of specific routers. The treated colonies showed an active defense against reactive oxygen species, and the plant cells increased proliferation. Thus, the results reported in this research suggest extending the application of this technology to fight the effects of various contaminants and reducing the use `of biological and chemical materials for environmental defense.


Benedetti, S., Degrassi C., De Martino A., Beninati S., Cappello F., Bonivento P. (2018). Improvement of Antioxidative Defense of Cells Exposed to Radio Frequencies by a Nanotechnology Device. Journal of Biomaterials, 2(1), 20-23. doi:10.11648/j.jb.20180201.15

Carbonari, B., Balducci, F., Cesaretti, G., Cesanelli, L., Botticelli, D., Messina, G. (2020). Performance, balance and posture variations with Occlusal Splint and Taopatch® devices. A retrospettive cross-over study. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, epub Jul. 30. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11053-3.

Di Summa, F., Capobianco, F.S., Shevchenko, A., De Martino, A., Beninati, S., Baldoni, E., Lumbau, A.M.I., Chessa, G.I. (2018). Improvement of Postural Reprogramming by a Nanotechnology Device. International Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. 6(3), 57-61. doi: 10.11648/j.ijbmr.20180603.11.


Lomeo, A., Cacciaguerra, C., Garsia, D., Scolaro, A. (2019). The use of nanotechnological devices in degenerative cerebral pathologies: Perspective study on 28 patients with multiple sclerosis (French). Hegel, 9(2), 114-121.

Malchiodi Albedi, G., 1, Corna, S., Aspesi, A., Clerici, D., Parisio, C., Seitanidis, J., Cau, N., Brugliera, L., Capodaglio, P. (2017). Effects of nanotechnology-based devices on postural control in healthy subjects. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, epub Sep 5. Doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07530-2.

Scoppa, F., Gallamini, M., Belloni, G. (2016). Treating Balance Disorders with Ulllt Acupuncture Stimulation: A Further Pilot Study on Normal Subjects Confirms Clinical Applicability of Treatment. J Nov Physiother, 6(285). doi:10.4172/2165-7025.1000285.

Sedran, A., Rizzi R., Sindici, E., Sedran, A. Use of TAOPATCH nanotechnology for dental care on HCP subjects (2017). SIOH Meeting, Milan, 5-6-7 October. University of Turing, Department of Surgical Sciences, Dental School.



Me neither!

What Novak Djokovic has yet again demonstrated, in my view, is the fact that expectation can influence physical outcomes (and that you don’t need many critical thinking skills to become a tennis star).

12 Responses to Novak Djokovic made tennis history – doped by the ‘TAOPATCH’ device he had glued to his chest??

  • I have always noticed how uninformed professional athletes are in general. It seems their training over the years is at the expense of education.

    As an aside I remember some years ago though in Djokovic’s case reading how he slept in an oxygen tent. These tents were hugely expensive and very few existed. The author of the article questioned this as being ethical?

  • The manufacturer should complain to the match organisers that Djokovic is gaining an unfair advantage by using their device – ie cheating.

    That is, if they really do believe it does what they claim for it…

  • If it works or even if it has a placebo effect, he should have the title rescinded and denied all future performances in future competitions.

  • Djokovic claimed that it was the “biggest secret of his career” and without the device, he would not have achieved what he has professionally.

    This ‘placebo superstition’ can be helpful for top athletes, artists and other people whose career relies on exceptional performance (as also described in my book). Little things like this can take some of the edge off the inevitable uncertainty.

    The problem here of course is that this commercial pseudoscientific crap is rather less innocent and (at $300 a pop) certainly less inexpensive than the traditional pair of ‘lucky socks’ or something – as many people will be tempted to follow Djokovic’s example and waste a substantial amount of their hard-earned money on this useless rubbish.

    These quantum dots “pick up” infrared radiation from the body and emit another radiation in the range of visible light, like that used by the low-level and ultra-low-level laser therapy (Scoppa et al., 2016) plus far Infrared, near Infrared and nourishing UV light.

    While there are some novel materials that can upconvert near-infrared light to visible light, these materials can only do this trick with so-called near infrared, i.e. the type of infrared used by remote controls and similar devices. To the best of my knowledge, there are no materials that can convert low-frequency low-intensity infrared (i.e. body heat) directly into visible light — otherwise we would already have materials that would glow in the dark simply by absorbing heat from the environment.
    So I think that this claim already is a lie. At best, the stuff in these patches works like the good ‘ole fluorescent paint, but that requires visible light to begin with.
    And even if this upconversion of heat to visible light would work, then that visible light would be nothing special – basically the same as ordinary daylight, only much, much weaker. Then again, maybe these people have the same mindset as homeopaths, who claim that the infinitely diluted ghost of ordinary table salt can do special things that the ~200 grams of salt already present in our body doesn’t do. And oh, the acupuncture points mentioned of course don’t exist.

    A bit of searching on the internet turns up some more ‘explanations’ about cells communicating using biophotons(*) and other nonsense. The usual pseudoscientific gibberish, in other words.

    *: If cells would really communicate by means of (very sparse) biophotons, then I’d say the last thing you’d want to do is interfere with that communication by randomly injecting more of those biophotons in this process – it would be like ‘enhancing’ communication between nerve cells by applying random electric shocks …

    • Similarly, I noticed this is not correct:

      These quantum dots “pick up” infrared radiation from the body and emit another radiation in the range of visible light, like that used by the low-level and ultra-low-level laser therapy (Scoppa et al., 2016) plus far Infrared, near Infrared and nourishing UV light.

      However, the following sheds more light on it [literally!]:

      A new road to improve vitamin D and balance through Taopatch® and proprioceptive protocol in Multiple Sclerosis patients
      Messina G et al.
      Eur J Transl Myol. 2022 Dec 16; 32(4): 10774.
      PMID: 36112067
      PMCID: PMC9830399
      DOI: 10.4081/ejtm.2022.10774

      Taopatch® is a new nanotechnology used in healthcare made up of nanocrystals, or quantum dots, that when excited by body infrared and sunlight [my emphasis], it converts into multiple wavelength between 200 nm and 600 nm…

      • @Pete Attkins
        Ah, yes – and the really stupid thing of course is that the sunlight that is necessary to stimulate those ‘nanocrystals’ is far more efficient in generating vitamin D than the ‘second-hand’ light emitted by this patch.
        I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was in fact this sunlight that was responsible for the increase in vitamin D levels, not the patch …

        According to their credentials and affiliations, none of those people is knowledgeable in the fields of physics or even biomedical sciences.

        • Solar irradiance at the surface of the Earth is circa 1000 W/m²; ~5% of which is ultraviolet: 50 W/m²

          The surface area of an adult is circa 2 m², only half of which can be exposed to the Sun at any given time.

          Therefore, the total UV power on the surface of bare skin has a maximum value in the region of 20–50 W.

          Are we expected to accept that some quantum flapdoodle widget 16 mm in diameter — area of 0.0002 m² — makes a measurable difference, let alone a clinical difference, to the solar irradiance on our skin.

  • Up to now I could only explain my beloved homeopathic remedies as ‘magic sugar pills’.
    Now thanks to Novak Djokovic and Edzard I think that I can flapdoodle an explanation for homeopathy using ‘quantum dot technology’.
    Thank you so much for flagging this up.

  • It occurred to me that there is, perhaps, an alternative title for this article:

    Novak Djokovic made tennis history — doped duped by the ‘TAOPATCH’ device he had glued to his chest??

  • Athletes foreveer been into woo, go back 30 yrs of olympics, the photos. Suctioned cupped up, the tape, even neclkaces. Athletes are why we have woo.

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