Researchers at the University of Houston, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and Korea Institute of Science and Technology have reported in journal Advanced Materials the development of a contact lens technology that may one day be used to measure glucose via the tears. It relies on enhancing the ability of surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy to measure glucose concentrations and other biomolecules using a special printed nanostructure.
The nanostructure consists of printed gold nanowires on top of a gold film that are integrated into a flexible contact lens. These nanostructures create so-called “hot spots” that significantly increase the sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy to detect what’s under them.
Any future glucose sensor based on this technology would require an external light source to illuminate the contact lens and an accompanying sensor to perform the detection. Though such devices essentially already exist, the new research may make them also useful in the field of diabetes management.
From the study in Advanced Materials:
3D stacking of plasmonic nanostructures is achieved using a solvent-assisted nanotransfer printing (S-nTP) technique to provide extremely dense and regular hot spot arrays for highly sensitive surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) analysis. Moreover, hybrid plasmonic nanostructures obtained by printing the nanowires on a continuous metal film or graphene surface show significantly intensified SERS signals due to vertical plasmonic coupling.
Source: University of Houston…