It’s estimated that about 130 million people worldwide wear contact lenses, mainly to correct their vision. Now, with electronic systems getting ever smaller and with the possibility of having electrical power on lens, it becomes possible to integrate a variety of transducers (i.e. physical, biochemical, etc.) into a lens. Such capabilities would be very useful for diagnosing and treating ocular diseases. The challenge is to integrate a complete autonomous system and make it as flexible as a soft lens, without compromising its oxygen-permeable nature and the integrity of the electronic components. Researchers at imec, Ghent University and SEED have done just that with the development of a prototype of a Hydrogel-based Soft Lenses with integrated Electronics that incorporates a self-standing flexible RF antenna, thin microchip, LED light and stretchable interconnections into the contact lens.
John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.