A recent PHYS.org article featured good news for sufferers of diabetes: researchers are developing a contact lens capable of monitoring blood glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitoring systems already exist in the form of electrodes inserted under the skin, but they can be painful and provoke skin irritation or infections. The contact concept began when Gregory S. Herman, Ph.D. and his team of researchers had the idea to run diagnostics using data extracted from teardrops.
The team came up with an inexpensive method for developing IGZO electronics and nanostructures within them capable of detecting low-concentration glucose levels, like those in the eye. Herman believes a 1-millimeter square patch of an IGZO contact lens could house more than 2,500 biosensors that each measure a different bodily function. The data could then be transmitted to a smartphone or other Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled device.