Jihun Park1 Joohee Kim1 Seoyeong Ju1 Jang-Ung Park1

1, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, , Korea (the Republic of)

Recent developments in wearable electronic devices integrated with wireless technologies, which can perform health monitoring, will help to advance the medical applications. Among the advanced wearable platforms, smart contact lenses are one of candidates to provide real-time, noninvasive medical diagnostics from the physiological information on the eye and tear fluid. Especially, the eyes always contain the tear fluid, so the smart contact lenses can monitor the physiological status continuously.
Previously reported smart contact lenses exploited opaque and rigid electronic components for the operations of electronic devices. Therefore, these devices could interfere with the user’s vision and be potentially dangerous to the eyes. Furthermore, the bulky equipment with an excessive cost to monitor the signals from the smart contact lens could restrict the user’s activities. These limitations reduce the convenience and features of the smart contact lenses.
Therefore, we propose smart contact lenses which can detect the glucose concentrations in tear fluid. For the superior stretchability and transparency, the smart contact lenses are fabricated using silver nanowire (AgNW) networks and graphene which have stretchable and transparent properties. Therefore, the resulting smart contact lens can provide a clear vision. In addition, the antenna composed of AgNWs enables the wireless communication, so the results of glucose sensor in smart contact lens could be wirelessly monitored. These sensor platforms based on AgNWs and graphene can be exploited as not only smart contact lenses but also internet of things (IoTs) for the environment monitoring.
Furthermore, the smart contact lens integrated with wireless display can exhibit the sensing results through the display pixel and exclude the use of bulky measurement equipment which reduces user convenience. Therefore, we believe that the smart contact lenses suggest a promising strategy towards wearable electronics for the diagnosis of diseases.