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Smart contact lens alters colour in response to moisture and pressure changes

The device could be used to identify patients who are at risk of glaucoma

Contact lens on finger

A smart contact lens developed by Chinese researchers reacts to changes in pressure and moisture by changing colour.

Describing the technology in Journal of Materials Chemistry B, the authors highlighted that contact lenses provide a suitable platform for point of care diagnosis of eye diseases.

However, they added that current smart contact lenses usually involve complex electronics and circuits.

“To realise the instrument-free detection of pathologically relevant signals of eye diseases, we successfully established a structurally coloured contact lens sensor with a tunable colour,” the authors shared.

The smart contact lens is made from biocompatible hydrogel without the addition of chemical pigments.

The spacing of the periodic nanostructures within the hydrogel are sensitive for moisture and pressure changes.

The device can be used to identify those at risk of xerophthalmia and ocular hypertension.