Scientists Developed Smart Contact Lenses That Can Detect Glucose Level In Tears

The Cyborg future people dreamed of is closer to becoming a reality. Researchers have invented a contact lens that detects hyperglycemia (glucose level higher than usual) and warns the wearer. The contacts are soft, transparent and flexible.

Earlier attempts to make similar contacts failed because the wearers were uncomfortable with the rigid and opaque electronics; the glucose measurements were also unreliable. Material scientist Jihun Park of Ulsan National Institute of science and Technology in South Korea developed soft and flexible electrical components to intercept these problems. The lenses were also made transparent. The electrical components include two devices: an antenna and a rectifier. The antenna, which is thinner than a human hair strand, captures radiofrequency signals from a nearby transmitter and converts them into electric charge which powers a glucose sensor, made of rigid. silicon pad and a tiny green LED placed at the front of the lens, not visible to the wearer. The wearer’s tear fluid seeps into the sensor which detects glucose level every second.

If the sensor detects hyperglycemia, it cuts off the power flowing to the LED and the light turns off. The light is visible in a mirror, so if the wearer finds the light turned off, they needs to adjust their insulin level.


The electronic components in the lens are 1/100 the thickness of the contact lens and the tech that could not be transparent are located in sections that are over the iris where they cannot be seen by the wearer.

However, the researchers haven’t tested the contacts in people yet. A report by the Science advances shared that the lenses “showed no signs of any adverse reactions” on rabbits and their glucose levels were accurately tracked. The researchers surmise that it may take another five years until the lenses hit the shelves in Pharmacies.

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