New Smart LED Contact Lenses Designed For Diabetes-Related Retinopathy

Apr, 2022 - By SMI

New Smart LED Contact Lenses Designed For Diabetes-Related Retinopathy

Researchers developed new LED contact lenses that are powered wirelessly and treat diabetic retinopathy occurred due to damaged blood vessels in the eye

People suffering from diabetes face blindness or diabetic retinopathy in which the small blood vessels in the eye are damaged due to the disease. The current treatment for this condition involves highly invasive and repeated therapeutic injection and even surgical interventions that may not even recover the vision completely. Now, a team of scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), South Korea developed new smart LED contact lenses that are powered wirelessly and are used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Besides all the invasive treatment options of diabetic retinopathy, the team of scientists at POSTECH developed new non-invasive treatment for the condition. The team studied a treatment called photobiomodulation involving irradiation of the eye with far-infrared to near-infrared (FR/NIR) light. The newly developed LED contact lenses focus this light in the right place helping an individual regain the vision. The device includes an FR/NIR LED, a wireless power coil, and an integrated circuit chip. The team added all these components in a silicone elastomer lens. The team tested the new lens on animal with early stage of diabetic retinopathy.

Furthermore, as the team conducted the test on rabbits, each of them were exposed to 120 microwatt of FR/NIR light for 15 minutes three times a week for a time span of 8 weeks. The team found that after the treatment period, retinal damage related to retinopathy in the rabbits was reduced significantly. While in untreated control group there were no such improvements. Moreover, despite a temporary temperature increase in eyeball due to the LED treatment, there was no damage to cornea or any other parts of the animal’s eye.

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