Contact lenses can measure glucose in the body, and can also be comfortable, which allows the patient to wear them permanently. Researchers at South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology said the new lenses may hit the market within five years, reported the German news agency.
Diabetes results from the imbalance of glucose levels in the human body, which requires the patient to measure these rates on a regular basis, so they can be controlled by drugs or insulin.
Researchers have created new contact lenses, after scientific studies have shown that glucose levels in tears correspond to blood levels in many ways. However, the problem was that the old lenses used to measure glucose were made of solid materials, and thus feel uncomfortable when worn by the patient.
But the researchers in South Korea overcame this problem by making the lens from separate parts, putting each part inside a soft polymer material, and then fixing all the parts inside a flexible network that allows the patient to wear the lens without feeling uncomfortable.
The Phys.org website reported that the research team tested the new lenses in rabbits, and didn’t detect any problems or disturbances in the eye; it also measured the lenses’ efficiency through special cameras to ensure they don’t cause any vision obstructions.