Researchers at the University of California are reporting having produced a contact lens with an embedded pressure sensor fused into the lens’s material using a novel technique. Combined with a bit of electronics we reported on earlier this year, we might just see smart contact lenses in the next few years.
From UC Davis:
Tingrui Pan, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and postdoctoral researcher Hailin Cong started with a material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). They developed a method for placing powdered silver on the PDMS in a precise pattern, to create conductive wires. The silver also has antimicrobial properties.
The researchers were able to shape the PDMS-silver into a contact-lens shape, and show that it could function as a simple pressure sensor. Glaucoma, a build-up of pressure in the eye, is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. A contact lens that could continuously measure pressure within the eye and relay the data to a computer would allow doctors to learn more about glaucoma and improve patient treatment.
The researchers plan to apply for approval to begin trials of the lenses in humans, Pan said. They are collaborating with Professor James Brandt of the Department of Ophthalmology at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
Press release: Smart Contact Lenses
Abstract in Advanced Functional Materials…
More at MIT Tech Review…
Flashbacks: Sensimed Technology: Noninvasive Intraocular Pressure Monitoring with a Contact Lens; Electronic Contact Lenses for Better Vision