Moreover, the viscoelastic nature of TPU allows planar structures to be thermoformed into spherical caps with a well‐defined curvature (i.e., eye's curvature at the cornea: 9 mm). Very precise fine‐tuning of the thermoforming parameters and optimization of strain‐release patterns enabled to achieve oxygen permeable, thin, non-developable, and wrinkle‐free contact lenses with integrated electronics. Well-chosen gaps in the circuit provide for oxygen permeability of the lens.
Next, the researchers want to develop active lenses with extended power autonomy in order to drive and readout integrated transducers, then they'll design a variety of micro-transducers compatible with such stretchable systems.
"With this technology, contact lens-type wearable devices could be mass produced as those existing contact lens products" noted Ms. Arai, researcher at SEED Co., Ltd., one of the developers of the device. "Moreover, the device could be installed on the outer side (tear film side), the inner side (cornea side), or in the center part of the contact lens. The adjustability of location is valuable for the biosensing field". The R&D group is dedicating to the development of contact lens material for biological monitoring.
Imec – www.imec.be
SEED - www.seed.co.jp
Ghent University - www.UGent.be