Tags: contact lens | glucose | tears | diabetes

A Contact Lens That Tests Blood Sugar

A Contact Lens That Tests Blood Sugar

(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 October 2016 10:50 AM

A contact lens that detects glucose levels in tears could be a dramatic breakthrough for people with diabetes who must endure traditional painful blood testing.

Wei-Chuan Shih, a researcher with the University of Houston, worked with colleagues to develop the project, which was presented in the journal Advanced Materials.

Glucose is a good candidate for what's called optical sensing — especially for what is known as "surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy," said Shih, who is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. The technique, named for Indian physicist C.V. Raman, who discovered the effect in 1928, uses information about how light interacts with a different materials to identify various substances.

The concept isn't unique — Google has developed a multi-sensor contact lens, which also detects glucose levels in tears — but the researchers say this technology would also have other applications. "It should be noted that glucose is present not only in the blood but also in tears, and thus accurate monitoring of the glucose level in human tears by employing a contact-lens-type sensor can be an alternative approach for noninvasive glucose monitoring," the researchers wrote.

"Tears have a lot to mine," Shih said. "The question is, whether you have a detector that is capable of mining it, and how significant is it for real diagnostics."

Shih said he and researchers set out to show how tear glucose levels correlate with blood glucose levels, which hadn't been previously established. He said most important was showing that the structure is effective for using the surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy.

Shih said researchers wanted a flexible nanostructure that would be more suited to wearable electronics. The technology — built using layers of gold nanowires stacked on top of a gold film — was first produced on a hard surface then placed onto a soft contact lens.

 


 

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A contact lens that detects glucose levels in tears could be a dramatic breakthrough for people with diabetes who must endure traditional painful blood testing.
contact lens, glucose, tears, diabetes
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2016-50-11
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 10:50 AM
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