Conventional contact lenses are used by millions of people with great success. But scientists are now realizing that there’s a lot of potential for metamaterials that manipulate light in interesting ways to significantly improve the capabilities of contact lenses. While it’s the overall shape of the lens that controls how it affects light, in a metamaterial fine structures smaller than the wavelength of light work together to manipulate incoming light and allow that kind of lens to be both thin and flat.
At RMIT University and the University of Adelaid in Australia researchers have developed a material, made of microscopic titanium oxide crystals called dielectric resonators, that changes how it filters light when put under stress and strain. While in itself this technology isn’t exactly ready to make a contact lens, it does point to the real possibility of contact lenses that change their properties based on environmental and physiologic parameters.
Integrating this technology with electronic control systems may one day lead to smart contact lenses that can be optimized for different visual needs and that can address more than one eye condition in a single patient at the same time.
Via: RMIT University…