A Korean research team has succeeded in developing a method to diagnose and manage diabetes by collecting and analyzing tears with sensors inserted into contact lenses.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on July 24 that a research team led by Dr. Song Yong-won from the Interface Control Research Center at KIST successfully developed a self-powered contact lens medical monitoring device.
Last January, Google showcased a prototype contact lens to measure blood sugar levels in the wearer’s tears. The contact lens with a wireless chip, a minuscule sensor, an antenna, and an LED can track glucose levels in real time without needing to draw blood every day.
However, it is essential to have a technology that makes it possible to steadily supply tears to the lens and to measure the sugar levels of the tears in a fast and accurate way, so that these smart contact lenses function properly.
The team was able to develop a new sensor that can measure sugar levels in tears, a tiny module that can operate the sensor with ultra-low power, and a microfluidic control system that can supply tears to the sensor in a steady manner.