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Contact Lenses That Monitor Blood Sugar in Diabetics

Armen Hareyan's picture
contact lenses and blood sugar monitoring in diabetes

A new and improved surveillance tool, which could be integrated with contact lenses, has been developed to analyze blood glucose levels in diabetics.


An ultra-thin, highly sensitive and flexible sensor that could be integrated into contact lenses or on the back of watches for real-time glucose monitoring in people with diabetes has been developed, according to a study published in the medical journal ACS Nano. This discovery could increase the quality of life for millions of patients with diabetes.

Researchers at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA, created a biosensor using indium oxide nanoribbons, a glucose oxidase enzyme, a natural chitosan film, and single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Glucose Sensor

Tests have shown that this device can detect a range of glucose concentrations from 10 nanomolar to 1 millimolar, sensitive enough to cover typical glucose levels in sweat, saliva, and tears in people with and without diabetes.

New Blood Sugar Monitor Will End The Pain of Pricking or Flowing Blood

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This new sensor could replace traditional surveillance methods that are sometimes inefficient.

Indeed, today, diagnosis and follow-ups are often done by analyzing a blood sample. However, the pain of pricking or flowing blood can deter people from closely monitoring conditions such as diabetes that require regular checkups.

Researchers say that beyond monitoring glucose levels, the sensor could also be used for monitoring different toxic substances in the food and environmental sectors.

Contact lenses that elute drugs and those that measure glucose may be available in the near future if technologies being developed by OcuMedic Inc. and i-Chek prove successful. Here is an interesting interview with OcuMedic CEO and i-Chek advisor Keith Ignotz, in which he discusses why 50 years of previous technologies have failed and how these companies plan to succeed.

Don't Miss: Breath and 3 More Ways To Test Blood Sugar Without Needles. "At the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), a research team has explored the possibility of using tears to measure blood glucose levels. So far the electrochemical sensor device has been tested in animals only, but if continuing research pans out, people with diabetes may want to shed a tear or two when checking their blood sugar levels," reports eMaxhealth reporter Deborah Mitchell.

Also, this new continuous Glucose Monitor eliminates routine fingersticks. On September 27, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved an answer: the FreeStyle Libre, which is the first wearable flash glucose monitoring system that eliminates the need for routine fingersticks.

Are you excited about this development? Please let us know your opinion about potentially monitoring your blood sugar through contact lenses or through your smart watch in the comments section below.