These smart contact lenses for diabetic patients offer painless alternative to monitor blood sugar levels - chaprama | Insights from the world of Technology and Lifestyle


Monday, April 10, 2017

These smart contact lenses for diabetic patients offer painless alternative to monitor blood sugar levels

Researchers from the university of Oregon state university have developed smart contact lenses made of transparent sensors that one day may help people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels. The current monitoring of blood sugar levels would involve drawing blood by making a tiny prick on the person's finger and estimating the blood sugar levels using another device. 

This smart contact lenses for diabetic patients offers painless alternative to monitor blood sugar levels

Devices that continuously monitor blood sugar levels are available but it leads to skin irritations and infections. The contact lenses offer a painless alternative and facilitate continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels to alert patients about major changes in blood sugar levels. This in a way minimizes the risk diabetes-related health problems. The contact lenses thereby offer a painless alternative to monitoring blood glucose levels.
Also Read: Exposure of children to pets during early age reduces the risk of obesity and allergies by enriching gut bacteria: Research

How are the Smart contact lenses made?

Researchers exploited the electronic properties of material  ICZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) to make contact lenses. ICZO was used in smartphones, tablets and flat panel displays to enhance the image quality and also to save power and improve touchscreens sensitivity.

Here the researchers made contact lenses that contained transparent sheets of transistors made of ICZO. These transistors were coated with enzyme glucose oxidase that breaks down glucose. When the contact lenses were exposed to glucose a chemical reaction takes place which is detected by the transistors via an electric current that flows through the lenses. 

The sensors are extremely sensitive and are able to detect very low concentrations of glucose to that found in the tears. The data collected can be transferred wirelessly to smartphones or other devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Apart from measuring blood glucose levels, these contact lenses can also be used to monitor conditions in diseases such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and kidney or liver disease. Currently, the lenses are in early stage of development and may take a year or longer for testing them in animals.

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