Contact lens researcher wins $100,000 grant

Contact lens researcher wins $100,000 grant

By Martin Burns

Contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels for diabetics could be one step closer after a research was given a $100,000 (£63,000) grant to help develop the lens.

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) has awarded six $100,000 grants to local teams of researchers.

One recipient is J Jack Hu who, along with Dr Deepak Edward, is developing a liquid crystal film for contact lenses that can be used to monitor blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.

He will now progress with animal testing and potentially seek US Food and Drug Administration approval within three years.

The contact lenses would display a pattern indicating the amount of glucose in a patient"s tears.

The BioInnovation Institute includes the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, whose vice president for research, Dr Walter E Horton, spoke to the news provider: "We were looking for projects that were very mature, that already had extensive research activities going on, that already had commercialization prospects possible."

Twenty-six applications for grants were judged by a panel including researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, the National Institutes of Health and Temple University.

Similar research is being carried out at the University of Western Ontario by biochemical engineering professor Jin Zhang.

by Emily Tait

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