Breakthrough: Battery Powered by Tears Could Revolutionize Smart Contact Lenses

A team of researchers in Singapore has made a remarkable discovery – a micrometer-thin battery that can store energy from human tears to power smart contact lenses. This breakthrough could potentially eliminate the need for external devices like bulky smart glasses and open up a world of possibilities for wearable technology.

Smart contact lenses have long been hindered by the challenge of finding a suitable power source. While display technology has become smaller and more advanced, batteries have not kept up with the pace of innovation. Typically, smart contact lenses require a wired connection to an external power source, which is impractical and limits their functionality.

However, the team at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore sought to change that. Led by Lee Seok Woo, the researchers explored the possibility of recharging contact lens batteries with tears. In a new paper published in the journal Nano Energy, Woo and his team detailed their findings.

A Revolutionary Solution

The micrometer-thin battery developed by the researchers relies on glucose and water to generate electricity. These natural resources are safe for humans and less harmful to the environment compared to conventional batteries. The battery is constructed using biocompatible materials and features a glucose-based coating that reacts with sodium and chloride ions found in tears, producing electricity to power the contact lens.

In an experiment using a simulated eye, the battery generated a current of 45 microamperes and a maximum output of 201 microwatts – enough to power a smart contact lens. This elegant solution eliminates the need for bulky wireless charging and opens up new possibilities for wearable technology.

Although the technology is still in its early stages and has limitations – the battery can only be charged and discharged 200 times – the team is already collaborating with contact lens companies to bring this groundbreaking technology to market.

This development could revolutionize the field of smart contact lenses and pave the way for a future where wearable technology seamlessly integrates into our daily lives.

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