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Monday Oct 03, 2022

Smart LED Contact Lenses to Treat and Prevent Eye Disease

Smart LED contact lenses designed to treat diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes is a chronic, long-term disease that can lead to many complications. It requires constant care. Diabetes can lead to vision loss and blindness.

In collaboration with Dr. Sangbaie Shin of PHI BIOMED Co., a POSTECH research team headed by Professor Sei Kwang Hain and Ph.D. candidate Geon Hui Lee (Department of Materials Science Science Engineering) has developed a wearable smart contact lens device that can prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy. The technology for smart LED contacts lenses has received a lot of attention because it can be used to treat a variety of ophthalmologic conditions.

The current treatment for diabetic retinopathy involves highly invasive, repeated therapeutic injections to one’s eyeball or thousands small burns with a laser to displace capillaries at the edges of the retina. Both of these procedures can be extremely painful for patients.

The researchers found that diabetic retinopathy was not present in the animals that wore smart contact lenses for 15 minutes three times per week, for an average of eight weeks. The animals who did not wear the contact lenses had retinopathy conditions. Histological examinations of the retina and cornea confirmed the safety and effectiveness.

Professor Sei Kwang Han, who conducted the study, said that the study had shown the feasibility of a wearable lens-type device for monitoring oxygen saturation, heart beat rate, and other ophthalmologic conditions, as well as treating depression, insomnia and neuronal disorders.

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