Scientists from Tohoku University in Japan have created a contact lens that could help to ward off dry eye.
The technology, which is described in Advanced Materials Technologies, incorporates a self-moisturising system that maintains a layer of fluid between the contact lens and the eye.
The scientists tested two types of batteries that are safe for use in humans to power a current within the contact lens.
When applied to hydrogel lenses, the current causes fluid to flow upward from the patient’s temporary tear reservoir behind the lower eyelid to the surface of the eye.
Further work is needed to make the self-moisturising contact lens tougher and capable of operating at smaller currents.
The researchers hope that in the future the technology could be used for other applications, such as drug delivery.