Purdue Researcher Leads Teams Developing Smart Contacts for Eye Conditions

A Purdue University researcher is leading teams in the creation of patent-pending smart soft contact lenses designed to monitor and treat chronic ocular diseases like glaucoma, neovascularization, and dry eye syndromes. The National Eye Institute has awarded grants totaling $6.7 million to support this innovative project.

Chi Hwan Lee, an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue, is spearheading the development of these specialized lenses. The lenses can deliver therapeutic drugs or accurately measure intraocular pressure, a key factor in managing glaucoma.

The research team includes experts from various disciplines, such as Bryan Boudouris from Purdue’s School of Chemical Engineering, Shin Ae Park from Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Pete Kollbaum from Indiana University’s School of Optometry, and Dr. Yannis Paulus from Michigan Medicine. The team also includes former Purdue postdoctoral student Jinyuan Zhang and current graduate student Yumin Dai.

The smart soft contact lenses aim to provide continuous 24-hour monitoring of intraocular pressure without causing discomfort to patients. The research team is working to refine the lenses through clinical trials in collaboration with several institutions.

Lee expressed gratitude for the support from the National Eye Institute and emphasized the potential impact of these smart contact lenses on the treatment of various eye conditions. The project has been disclosed to the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization for patent protection.

Purdue University is known for its commitment to research excellence and innovation. The Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization plays a crucial role in commercializing and protecting Purdue’s intellectual property. For more information about this groundbreaking research, contact Steve Martin at sgmartin@prf.org.

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