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Researchers Are Creating Contact Lens That Can Detect Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetics [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 07, 2017 07:11 AM EDT

A team of researchers from Oregon State University is developing a contact lens that can detect blood sugar levels. They presented their study on Tuesday at the 253rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society. The technology will use a transparent biosensor that can potentially recognize symptoms of even more diseases one day.

The researchers, led by the Oregon State professor Gregory Hermann, developed the transparent biosensor with sheets of compound gallium zinc oxide (IGZO). It is a semiconductor also used in smartphones, tablets and TVs with higher resolutions.

Power of Transparent Biosensors

Hermann estimates that 2,500 biosensors can possibly be embedded in a single millimeter of a contact lens with IGZO. As of the meantime, the sensors are still in the development phase.

With the presence of the IGZO transistors and the glucose oxidase, it is made possible for the biosensor to break down glucose. With that, they will be able to create the contact lens that can detect blood sugar levels for diabetics with just the patient's teardrop.

It is an effort of the team to make monitoring a patient with diabetes' glucose levels. The traditional method nowadays uses electrodes that are implanted under the diabetic's skin. Depending on the person, this method could be painful and even cause skin infections and irritations.

The contact lens, however, will be a safer and more practical alternative in the future. And because the materials needed to create the contact lens are readily available today, the researchers are even more positive about the tech's development to be even more revolutionary.

More Diseases To Be Diagnosed

Moreover, there is a lot of information that can be found on a person's teardrop. Apparently, it contains lactate to determine sepsis and liver disease, dopamine for glaucoma, urea for renal functions, and proteins for cancers, as what Hermann told the Gizmodo.

Having the goal of expanding to multiple sensors, the team envisions the contact lens that can detect blood sugar levels will one day be able to diagnose more medical conditions like cancer. The study is published in the journal Nanoscale and Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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