Smart contact lens developed for diabetes monitoring

Engineering

A pioneering development in South Korea has created a contact lens that can help monitor glucose levels in diabetes sufferers.

The innovation is the result of a collaboration between Professor Jang-Ung Park and Professor Franklin Bien of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, and Professor Jung Heon Lee of Sungkyunkwan University.

“Engineers in South Korea are claiming a breakthrough in the development of wearable technology designed to monitor glucose levels in diabetics.“

Glucose levels can be measured by transparent electronics built into the lens that can measure glucose levels from teardrops. 

Although not yet tested in humans, it is believed this will act as an early warning system that can enable wearers to know if they need to take blood sugar boosters.

Contact lenses containing electronics are not new, but the devices created by the Korean team include much more flexible components, making them much more wearable. Moreover, they are invisible, meaning sight is not impeded.  

Primary author of the study Jihun Park said: "Our smart contact lens provides a platform for wireless, continuous, and noninvasive monitoring of physiological conditions, as well as the detection of biomarkers associated with ocular and other diseases."

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