scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have succeeded in creating technology ultra-thin battery who can feed smart contact lenses with tears. This achievement promises to open up new possibilities in healthcare and augmented reality.
Smart contact lenses have evolved in recent years, developing vision correction, multifunctional tools that can monitor health and provide ease of use. augmented reality.
One of the biggest challenges the researchers faced was the lifespan of the battery and charging systems.
Thus, this discovery becomes an interesting format for solving a problem that may slow down the development of these devices.
To work, the battery is only one micrometer thick and can be charged with tears, which could allow users to wear these contact lenses for longer periods of time without worrying about running out of charge.
The team of scientists behind this innovation has used biocompatible materials for the battery, which have a glucose-based coating that reacts with the sodium and chloride ions present in the water contained in the battery itself. This acts as a circuit for efficient and safe power generation.
Dr. Lee Seok-woo, Associate Professor at the NTU School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and project leader, explained how this project came about and its purpose.
“This study started with a simple question: Can contact lens batteries be recharged with our tears? Previous methods for making lens batteries weren’t perfect because one side of the battery’s electrode was charged while the other was not.
Our approach allows us to charge both battery electrodes through a unique combination of an enzymatic reaction and a self-healing reaction,” he said.
As far as its performance is concerned, during the experiments conducted by the researchers, it was found that it can produce a current of 45 microamperes and a maximum power of 201 microwatts.
This means that this little battery can keep your contact lenses running all day long.
In addition, for every 12 hours of wear, tears can increase battery life by one hour, meaning that in situations of heavy use, contact lenses can remain active for an even longer period of time.
For those users who wish to charge the battery themselves from tears, there is an equally effective solution. The battery can be immersed in a concentrated saline solution containing glucose, potassium and sodium ions. This ensures fast and reliable charging, giving you more flexibility in how you use your devices.
While this achievement represents a significant step forward in smart contact lens technology, there is still room for improvement.
Researchers are actively working to increase the amount of electrical current that can drain a battery, which could lead to longer battery life and greater versatility in using these devices by extending their current 200 charge cycles.
This technological breakthrough could change the way we use contact lenses, and its impact is not limited to vision correction.
The ability to monitor eye health and treat chronic conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma opens up new doors in personalized healthcare. In addition, the ability to integrate augmented reality into these smart contact lenses promises users a whole new visual and informational experience.