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Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Smart contact lens recharges wirelessly without removing it from user's eye


Electronic Contact Lenses

The robotic contact lenses have promised true superpowers to humans, the vision of laser beams to a telescopic zoom built into the eye.

This technology, still in the developmental stage, has now received a huge boost: a wireless rechargeable power source, meaning all equipment installed on the contact lens can be fueled and continue working without even being removed from the user's eye.



Instead of a traditional battery, Jihun Park and colleagues at Yonsei University in South Korea used a printable supercapacitor, making it easy to attach to the contact lens.

In addition to the rechargeable supercapacitor, the prototype has an antenna and a red LED, all working without obscuring the user's vision. It sounds like science fiction, but the device has already been tested by a volunteer and worked perfectly.

Wireless rechargeable supercapacitor scheme.

Rechargeable supercapacitor

The supercapacitor is made of carbon electrodes and a solid state polymer electrolyte. Each material is dispersed in a solvent and printed as separate layers on the lens. A high-precision technique called microscale direct ink writing allows the supercapacitor to be printed outside the area covering the user's pupil, meaning that the device does not interfere with vision.

The flexible wireless power transfer unit - comprising an ultra-thin rectifier circuit and an antenna made of nanofibers and silver nanowires - allows the contact lens to recharge at a distance of about 1 cm from a transmitting coil.



The rechargeable contact lens was tested on live rabbits and finally on a human - during the 10 minute test, no damage was detected in the volunteer's eye.


Bibliography:

Article: Printing of wirelessly rechargeable solid-state supercapacitors for soft, smart contact lenses with continuous operations

Authors: Jihun Park, David B. Ahn, Joohee Kim, Byeong-Soo Bae, Sang-Young Lee, Jang-Ung Park

Magazine: Science Advances

Vol .: 5, no. 12, eaay0764
DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.aay0764

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