19. June 2012 07:30
Recently, there have been several major developments regarding diabetes treatment. One of the most publicised ones was a semi-permanent tattoo capable of monitoring blood glucose levels, which utilises nanoparticles changing colour in response to changes in blood glucose. However, the invention that seems to be the most promising one is the glucose-monitoring contact lens.
Being able to measure blood sugar concentrations frequently is necessary to control diabetes effectively. At the moment, diabetics need to use glucose meters, which are not very convenient and cannot monitor sugar levels continuously. The new contact lenses will not have this disadvantage.
According to Dr Jun Hu, the lenses determine the glucose concentration in the patient’s eyes and change colour when the level becomes too high or too low, working similarly to pH paper.
Measuring the exact blood sugar level will be possible with the use of a smart phone application, which will analyse pictures of the patient’s eye and show the results on the phone’s display.
Glucose-monitoring contact lenses have not been approved for use in humans yet, but the researchers are quite confident they will be commercially available within three years.