Jan. 14 - 'Smart' contact lenses that monitor the health of patients' eyes could become a reality, according to scientists who have devised flexible, electronic circuits 50 times thinner than a human hair. Jim Drury reports.
It's transparent, flexible and fifty times thinner than a human hair. It's an electronic circuit that could one day form the basis of a 'smart' contact lens capable of monitoring eye conditions like glaucoma. But it has application in other fields too. The circuit's creators at Swiss tech institite ETH Zurich, say the technology could be used to create 'smart' textiles for sports trainers or nurses to monitor body temperature or performance. Made of parylene, an insulating substance normally used as protective coating for electronic devices, the circuit is flexible enough to adhere to a wide range of surfaces, both biological and synthetic. Lead researchers Niko Münzenrieder and Giovanni Salvatore say that with a wireless power source, their technology has the potential to bring electronics to a new level of small scale sophistication.