Scientists are looking into new ways to keep track of blood glucose levels by using the very latest in nanotechnology. This kind of technology could potentially help the over 400 million diabetes patients around the world keep better track of their blood sugar levels. Specifically, researchers are looking into using the latest in nanotech scanners placed on top of contact lenses to take regular samples of a patient's blood glucose level through tears.
The most recent study of these amazing contact lenses was recently published in the medical journal Advanced Materials. This study was conducted by researchers from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, University of Houston, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
These specially designed contact lenses have gold nanowires imprinted on the top of a gold film. These nanowires are designed to be very sensitive. They can track the amount of glucose that appears under them with great precision. Areas of the contacts that come into contact with various chemicals can literally be seen lighting up and getting warmer under the right conditions. The only thing researchers need to track the amount of glucose that is in these contacts is a strong external light source, which is used to illuminate the contact lenses, plus a special sensor that can detect exactly how much glucose is present in a person's tears.
The scientific jargon used to describe what these contacts do is to strengthen the accuracy of surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy. Basically, this means that doctors can better take in data from the nanostructures on the various biomolecules within the eyes.
The external lights and sensors used to track results from these contact lenses have already been designed, but they were never used for diabetes management before. If these new contact lenses become more popular, these tools may become even more necessary in medical offices across the nation.
The researchers in this study concluded that this nanotechnology represents a great advancement in helping diabetes sufferers keep track of their blood sugar levels with minimal invasion. They only hope their research will inspire further studies and developments in this branch of technology.