7. May 2013 10:49
Because of their nature, contact lenses cover the pupil of the eye, so that all of the light that reaches the retina must go through the central part of the lens. This, an eye care expert has observed, makes them a perfect basis for various types of filters, blocking not only UV light.
According to Dr Eric Papas, appropriately modified contact lenses can protect the eye from damage caused by radiation. However, in order for them to be effective, they need to absorb the harmful wavelengths and let the normal light through, allowing the wearers of the lenses to see well.
As the expert states in his latest article, this can be achieved with the use of gold nanoparticles, which could be adjusted to be permeable to various wavelengths, depending on the purpose of the lenses. The nanoparticles, their inventors claim, are photo-stable and non-toxic, posing no risk to the eye.
Contact lenses with a layer of these nanoparticles could be used, for instance, by individuals working with infra-red laser light, who, at the moment, have to wear uncomfortable protective goggles. Unfortunately, it is not known when such lenses will become available for purchase.