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Contact Lens Biosensor

April 5, 2017

Monitoring blood sugar and testing for cancer bio-markers with a contact lens.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Contact lens health monitors. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The same transparent sensors found in cell phone screens could be used in contact lenses to monitor your health, according to Oregon State University chemical engineer Gregory Herman. The sensors are called Field Effect Transistors, and they’re much smaller and require less power than other transistors. And they’re completely transparent.

GREGORY HERMAN (Oregon State University):

Which is a problem because people always go “I want to see your transparent sensor” but you can’t see them, because they’re transparent.

HIRSHON:

At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, he said the sensors could monitor glucose levels in people with diabetes, replacing painful blood tests. They might also look for newly discovered biomarkers for cancer. Herman says it’s now possible to fit up to 2500 sensors onto a square millimeter, potentially accommodating a huge battery of health tests. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon