Scientists in Singapore have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of smart contact lenses. While tech giants like Apple and Meta are competing to develop “smart” glasses, researchers in Singapore have found a way to create a battery that could revolutionize smart contact lenses.
One of the challenges faced by scientists was finding a safe and efficient way to power these lenses. Their solution came in the form of a tear-fluid-charged, ultra-thin battery. This innovative battery would allow the lenses to transmit computer information or augmented reality displays directly into the wearer’s eyes.
What’s even more fascinating is that this tear-powered battery would eliminate the need for metal electrodes or induction charging, which can be harmful or inconvenient. Instead, the battery would be as thin as a human cornea and would store electricity when immersed in saline solution.
The breakthrough technology works by reacting with sodium and chloride ions in the tear fluid, generating an electrical charge within the water in the battery. This means that the water itself acts as the “wire” or “circuitry” for electricity to be generated.
Not only is this battery made from biocompatible materials, but it also does not contain any wires or toxic heavy metals like lithium-ion batteries. It has a glucose-based coating that reacts with the sodium and chloride ions in the surrounding saline solution.
In lab tests performed on a simulated human eye with a simulated tear solution, researchers found that the battery’s life could be extended by an additional hour for every 12-hour wearing cycle. This means that the user’s tear fluid could potentially keep the lenses running throughout the day. However, researchers recommend placing the lenses in a saline solution overnight for at least eight hours to ensure they are fully charged in the morning.
This groundbreaking discovery paves the way for the development of smart contact lenses that could revolutionize how we see the world. The potential applications of these lenses are vast, from monitoring glaucoma to delivering eye medication or projecting augmented-reality imagery onto the wearer’s vision.
The research team from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, led by Assoc. Prof. Lee Seok Woo, has made significant strides in powering smart contact lenses in a safe and efficient manner. Their tear-powered battery could be a game-changer in the world of wearable technology.
To see actual pictures of these smart contact lenses, you can visit New Atlas and Yahoo.