Contact Lenses With Biosensors Could Change Glucose Monitoring
Diabetes has been a huge problem in the U.S. in recent years, and those inflicted have a very difficult time managing their blood glucose levels. Glucose monitoring is typically done with devices that measure glucose in blood drops. Not only is this procedure uncomfortable, but it is also difficult to get diabetic patients to comply to regular visits to their physician to get the procedure done.
What if you could monitor your patient’s glucose levels with…contact lenses? And have the data sent to your smartphone? Yes, that’s right. Contact lenses embedded with transparent biosensors could allow doctors and patients to monitor glucose levels without the invasive prick-and-test approach.
Gregory S. Herman, PhD developed a compound composed of indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO), a semiconductor used in displays on TVs, smartphones, and tablets. Herman investigated in this technology’s biomedical applications.
He speculated that bio-sensing contact lenses could provide several benefits, including:
– Reducing the risk of diabetes-related health problems
– Eliminating painful continuous glucose monitoring systems
– Improving compliance in patients
– Increasing speed of detection and gathering of data
To test his idea, Herman and his colleagues used a biosensor with a transparent sheet of IGZO transistors and glucose oxidase, an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid…aka breaks down glucose. “As a result, the pH level in the mixture shifted and, in turn, triggered changes in the electrical current flowing through the IGZO transistor.” Phys.org
The American Chemistry Society describes other uses for this technology, such as tracking drug use or serving as an early detection system for cancer and other serious medical conditions.
Watch the video below to see Herman present this work on these contact lenses at the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, which streamed live 24 hours ago!
What do you think? Will you try these out on future patients one day? Comment below!
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