[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 24 March 2005]
People suffering from diabetes have to regularly monitor the blood-sugar levels in their blood, which means extracting a small quantity of blood and performing tests. But a new product promises a non-invasive means of monitoring blood sugar: contact lenses that sense glucose. How it works:
[…] scientists added boronic acid to disposable contact lenses. Moisture from the tear ducts contains glucose that binds with the molecules of boronic acid, with the reaction causing fluorescence. A handheld device flashes a blue light into the eye and measures the intensity of the resulting glow, letting the user know their blood glucose level.
Apart from the obvious great value in making the lives of people with diabetes much easier, this one definitely scores a ten on the cyberpunk far-out scale. What else cool stuff could be measured this way? Stress levels? Drug consumption? Lactic acid in the blood stream from physical exhaustion?
What if instead of needing a special light at a certain wavelength, the color of the lenses themselves could alter based on the chemical compositions picked up?
Eyes are the windows of the soul, indeed.