Contact Lens Helps Diabetic Patients Check Their Blood Sugar

Contact Lens Helps Diabetic Patients Check Their Blood Sugar
Design

The device being developed at Oregon State University can inform the wearer if their blood sugar is beginning to run low

Zack Palm
  • 25 april 2017

Those who suffer from diabetes must watch their diet vigilantly to ensure they keep their blood sugar levels stable. Gregory Herman, a chemical, biological, and environmental engineering professor from Oregon State University, wanted to make monitoring a body’s sugar levels as simple as possible. Herman and his research team have begun work on a prototype contact lens that can detect the symptoms of low blood sugar and notify the wearer. The contact lenses ideally work the best for those who suffer from type 1 diabetes.

The seeds of the idea were sewn with a semiconductor made up of compound gallium and zinc oxide (IGZO), a technology used in television and smartphone displays that were often used to improve their quality. This sensor array can remain transparent within a layered contact lens, preventing the wearer from seeing the circuitry. The research team then took a transparent sheet of an IGZO transistor and put it with a glucose oxidase—an enzyme found in almost all living things that uses sugar as an energy source to breakdown glucose—to detect when a person’s blood sugar was running low. The IGZO biosensor can make this anayles from a person’s tear.

Contact_Lens_Uses_A_Transparent_Circuitry_System.jpg

The research team have yet to create a working prototype as they remain in the development stage of the sensor and have not attached it to the contact lens. When the contact lens and biosensor connect, they’ll transmit information through a radio frequency onto a receiver. Right now, the research team can only detect the readings of the biosensor through a flowing electrical current on the device.

Contact_Lens_Can_Inform_Users_When_Their_Blood_Sugar_Runs_Low.jpg

Although currently the prototype can only detect the amount of glucose within the wearer’s body, Herman hopes to advance the technology to other areas of health awareness in the future, such as lactate, dopamine, urea and proteins. T

Herman believes in the next year, he and his team will have the chance to test their technology on animals.

Contact Lens

Those who suffer from diabetes must watch their diet vigilantly to ensure they keep their blood sugar levels stable. Gregory Herman, a chemical, biological, and environmental engineering professor from Oregon State University, wanted to make monitoring a body’s sugar levels as simple as possible. Herman and his research team have begun work on a prototype contact lens that can detect the symptoms of low blood sugar and notify the wearer. The contact lenses ideally work the best for those who suffer from type 1 diabetes.

+Design
+Diabetes
+Health
+technology
+wearable technology

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