Taiwan's NCTU develops smart contact lens to detect dry eye syndrome

Lens can aid eye doctors in making diagnoses, prescribing drugs more accurately

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(Wikipedia photo)

(Wikipedia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A team at a Taiwanese university has successfully developed the world’s first smart contact lens that can instantaneously detect dry eye syndrome, Liberty Times reported on Wednesday (Nov. 13).

The smart contact lens, which contains sensing circuits, was developed by a National Chiao Tung University team led by electrical and computer engineering professor Chiou Jin-chern (邱俊誠).

The lens can measure tear evaporation, tear osmolarity, and the ocular surface temperature, which could make diagnosing dry eye syndrome easier and assist eye doctors in prescribing drugs more accurately.

The report quoted Chiou as saying that the secret to the team’s success was that it chose the right material — silicone hydrogel. The lens is embedded with gold-derived circuits that do not come into contact with the eye, and it can be worn for prolonged periods.

Undaunted by Google’s failure to produce contact lenses aimed at monitoring blood sugar levels, the team has dedicated nine years to producing the smart contacts, which are expected to undergo clinical testing next year, Chiou added.

The contact lens will be on display at the Future Tech exposition commencing on Dec. 5, among 88 other cutting-edge innovations developed by universities across Taiwan, the report said. In addition, the team will conduct further research on the lens' potential for entertainment by incorporating augmented reality technologies, the professor added.