The first contact lenses were made by the German physician August Müller at the end of the 19th century. In the mid-20th century, soft contact lenses were invented, and in the 21st century, scientists are working on smart lenses that help doctors monitor patients.
A team of British, American and Chinese scientists from the University of Surrey, Harvard University, the University of Science and Technology of China, the UK National Physics Laboratory, George Washington University and the Ningbo Research Institute of Zhejiang University announced that they have succeeded in developing a new smart lens technology. Science Daily talks about the invention.
Prior to this, various sensors were placed in the depths of the lenses. “Our ultra-thin sensory layer is different from conventional smart contact lenses, with their rigid or volumetric sensors and microcircuits sandwiched between two layers of contact lenses and contacting tear fluid through microfluidic sensory channels. This new layer can instead be adhered to the lenses and maintain direct contact with the liquid,”said one of the developers of the new lens, Shiki Guo.
It was possible to apply a photodetector to the lens surface to obtain optical information, a temperature sensor to diagnose potential corneal diseases, and a glucose sensor to directly monitor the level of glucose in the tear fluid. Processing the information received from the sensors with the help of modern medical software will help ophthalmologists make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe treatment in accordance with the individual characteristics of each patient.
Earlier, "Profile" reported that the first contact lenses with augmented reality have been developed. They have a tiny display built into them. Users can see navigation instructions through the lens.