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Tears of Joy for Diabetics

Nanocomposites could change treatment

The non-invasive technology uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses
The non-invasive technology uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses.
Image Credit: presstv.

Diabetics may soon be able to wear contact lenses that continuously alert them to variations in their glucose levels by changing colours - replacing the need to routinely draw blood throughout the day. The non-invasive technology uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses.

These engineered nanoparticles react with glucose molecules found in tears, causing a chemical reaction that changes their colour.

Zhang received $216,342 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today (Dec. 16) to further develop technologies using multifunctional nanocomposites.

These technologies have vast potential applications beyond biomedical devices, including for food packaging. For example, nanocomposite films can prevent food spoilage by preventing oxygen, carbon dioxide and moisture from reaching fresh meats and other foods, or by measuring pathogenic contamination; others can make packaging increasingly biodegradable.

Source: University of Western Ontario /...

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Comment Author Icon Sidharth Rattan
Comment Date IconPosted on 2009-12-22 at 15:01:56
Can you pl elaborate on packaging becoming "increasingly" biodegradable. Does it apply to non-biodegradable pkg materials made from essentially hydrocarbons like simple/composite plastics/laminates?

The big issue wrt usage of such pkg materials is disposability,especially composite laminates used in food/personal care/pharma etc products enmass. And mono/co-ex plastics pkg materials can only be re-cycled that much.

Improving shelf life capability of pkg films is interesting,presume this tech has been commercially tried on a limited scale? Is there any emperical data to support this which can be shared ? Anything on terms of what value benifits wll it deliver over existing pkg.

I am an insulin dependent diabetic used to self monitoring my blood glucose levels daily for some years now so this application is of interest too.



Comment Author Icon Geoffrey
Comment Date IconPosted on 2009-12-24 at 06:59:07
When will these be available and how much will they cost?


Comment Author Icon Giovanny Anglin
Comment Date IconPosted on 2010-01-05 at 13:44:57
I’m really interested in learning more about the contact-lenses for diabetics that change color depending on glucose levels. I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 11 and today I am 31 years old. You can imagine my sentiments toward the constant use of lancets to draw blood.

Also, though my geographical location might be out of the way for any studies your company may be performing, if there is anything available in the state of Louisiana, I would be extremely willing to participate.


Comment Author Icon Jin Zhang
Comment Date IconPosted on 2010-01-11 at 10:41:40
Most people want to know when the device will be available in the market. I understand why people have such a question. It is really uncomfortable to diabetics to monitor their blood glucose levels daily by using current methods. I hope our device can release diabetes suffers soon. It is, therefore, my great pleasure to have an opportunity to reply to this question. In my group, we developed the protocol of the device, and studied the biocompatibility, sensitivity, and durability of the contact lens sensors. The results for the lab-produced samples are as good as what we expected. Currently, my group is collaborating with clinic doctors and industry partner to push it to the next step. The approved CFI grant definitely enables us to speed up the technology transfer. Meanwhile, we are trying to make our sensors be able to detect other components in tear, such as calcium. Our goal is to make the diagnostic testing in diabetes and/or osteoporosis painless and non-invasive.


Comment Author Icon Hansen
Comment Date IconPosted on 2010-04-10 at 10:36:26

That’s great news. The diabetes patients may soon be able to wear contact lenses. That will continuously alert them to changes in their blood sugar by changing their colors. All diabetics get to experience the joy that is getting used to contact lenses!


Comment Author Icon Oli
Comment Date IconPosted on 2011-09-30 at 14:18:40
Sounds fantastic.
Do you have any peer reviewed publication on this work? would love to read more about this!


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