OSU scientists working on blood sugar-monitoring contact lens - KPTV - FOX 12

OSU scientists working on blood sugar-monitoring contact lens

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File image of Oregon State University campus (Photo: KPTV) File image of Oregon State University campus (Photo: KPTV)
Researchers at the OSU College of Engineering have developed a fully transparent glucose sensor (Photo: Oregon State University) Researchers at the OSU College of Engineering have developed a fully transparent glucose sensor (Photo: Oregon State University)
CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV) -

Scientists at Oregon State University hope people with Type 1 diabetes will one day be able to monitor and control their blood glucose with a sensor embedded in a contact lens.

Three researchers in the OSU College of Engineering say they developed a fully transparent sensor that can detect subtle changes in blood glucose levels in tear fluid.

That information could then be transmitted wirelessly to an insulin pump or even a mobile phone, allowing Type 1 diabetics to get real-time information on their blood sugar levels and administer insulin accordingly.

That functionality is still down the line, however.

"We have fully transparent sensors that are working," said Greg Herman, an OSU professor of chemical engineering and one of the authors of the study. "What we want to do next is fully develop the communication aspect, and we want to use the entire contact lens as real estate for sensing and communications electronics."

Postdoctoral scholar Xiaosong Du and visiting scholar Yajuan Li are the study's other authors.

Google has been working on a similar contact lens, but the tech giant's version isn't fully transparent, the researchers said.

The team from OSU used a type of nanotechnology called an amorphous indium gallium oxide field effect transistor (or IGZO FET for short) to develop the glucose sensor.

Herman said the sensor could eventually be used to monitor other health measurements, such as pulse rate and oxygen levels.

The study, which was funded primarily by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, was published online earlier this month in the journal Nanoscale.

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