Researchers in Singapore Develop Micrometer-Thin Battery Powered by Tears

A team of researchers in Singapore has made a breakthrough in the development of smart contact lenses by creating a tiny, micrometer-thin battery that can store energy from human tears. The battery, which relies on glucose and water to generate electricity, could potentially power smart contact lenses without the need for external devices.

Smart contact lenses have been limited by the lack of efficient and compact batteries. While display technology has advanced significantly, batteries have not kept pace, resulting in the need for impractical external power sources. However, the new battery developed by the Singaporean researchers offers a promising solution.

“This research began with a simple question: could contact lens batteries be recharged with our tears?” said Lee Seok Woo, lead author of the study published in Nano Energy and associate professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

The battery is constructed using biocompatible materials and features a glucose-based coating that reacts with sodium and chloride ions found in tears to generate electricity. In an experiment, the battery produced enough power to operate a smart contact lens.

While the technology is still in its early stages and has limitations, such as being able to be charged and discharged only 200 times, the research team is already collaborating with contact lens companies to bring the technology to market.

This development could revolutionize the field of smart contact lenses, offering users turn-based directions, notifications, and other data without the need for bulky external devices.

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