Film coating transforms contact lenses into computer screens

Feb 4, 2016

Photo credit: Shutterstock

By Michele Nardelli

A polymer film coating with the ability to turn contact lenses into computer screens is set to transform the wearable visual aids into the next generation of consumer electronics.

Scientists from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute have successfully completed “proof of concept” research on a polymer film coating that conducts electricity on a contact lens, with the potential to build miniature electrical circuits that are safe to be worn by a person.

UniSA researcher from the FII, Associate Professor Drew Evans said the technology was a “game changer” and could provide one of the safest methods to bring people and their smart devices closer together.

“We’re talking about anything from a simple sensor that can measure the amount of glucose in your blood through to actually creating electronic displays so rather than having something like a pair of glasses that’s acting like a computer, you can actually generate images directly on your contact lens,” Assoc Prof Evans said.

“We have always known that our film coating technologies had potential for many applications and now we have taken that a step further by proving that we can make biocompatible, conducting polymers at the nanoscale and grow them directly on a contact lens.”

University of South Australia polymer coating research is a game changer for hi-tech contact lens industry.


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