Navigation Links
Contact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision
Date:1/17/2008

Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.

The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

"Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside," said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. "This is a very small step toward that goal, but I think it's extremely promising." The results were presented today at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' international conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems by Harvey Ho, a former graduate student of Parviz's now working at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. Other co-authors are Ehsan Saeedi and Samuel Kim in the UW's electrical engineering department and Tueng Shen in the UW Medical Center's ophthalmology department.

There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle's speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see.

"People may find all sorts of applications for it that we have not thought about. Our goal is to demonstrate the basic technology and make sure it works and that it's safe," said Parviz, who heads a multi-disciplinary UW group that is developing electronics for contact lenses.

The prototype device contains an electric circuit as well as red light-emitting diodes for a display, though it does not yet light up. The lenses were tested on rabbits for up to 20 minutes and the animals showed no adverse effects.

Ideally, installing or removing the bionic eye would be as easy as popping a contact lens in or out, and once installed the wearer would barely know the gadget was there, Parviz said.

Building the lenses was a challenge because materials that are safe for use in the body, such as the flexible organic materials used in contact lenses, are delicate. Manufacturing electrical circuits, however, involves inorganic materials, scorching temperatures and toxic chemicals. Researchers built the circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick, about one thousandth the width of a human hair, and constructed light-emitting diodes one third of a millimeter across. They then sprinkled the grayish powder of electrical components onto a sheet of flexible plastic. The shape of each tiny component dictates which piece it can attach to, a microfabrication technique known as self-assembly. Capillary forces the same type of forces that make water move up a plant's roots, and that cause the edge of a glass of water to curve upward pull the pieces into position.

The prototype contact lens does not correct the wearer's vision, but the technique could be used on a corrective lens, Parviz said. And all the gadgetry won't obstruct a person's view.

"There is a large area outside of the transparent part of the eye that we can use for placing instrumentation," Parviz said. Future improvements will add wireless communication to and from the lens. The researchers hope to power the whole system using a combination of radio-frequency power and solar cells placed on the lens, Parviz said.

A full-fledged display won't be available for a while, but a version that has a basic display with just a few pixels could be operational "fairly quickly," according to Parviz.


'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Eye Care Lacking in Many Who Buy Contact Lenses Online
2. Contact lenses purchased over Internet may place individuals at risk for harmful eyecare practices
3. Contact Lens Shift Can Compromise Vision of People with Astigmatism with the Blink of an Eye
4. ECO2 Plastics to File for FDA Approval for Food-Contact Applications
5. Worlds First Non-Contact Thermometer for Children Now Available at Walgreens Nationwide
6. ACUVUE(R) 2 COLOURS(R) Brand Contact Lenses Launches Virtual Eye Makeover Tool
7. ILC Dover Launches Revolutionary ArmorFlex (R) Pharmaceutical Product Contact Film
8. Presentation at Bio Contact Quebec 2007
9. Service-to-Sales Transformation at Contact Centers Hinges on Soft Skills
10. Amcat Partners With Gryphon to Provide Comprehensive and Guaranteed Do Not Call (DNC) Compliance Solution for Outbound Contact Activities
11. Other highlights in the Jan. 8 JNCI
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Contact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision
(Date:3/28/2017)... Appleton, WI (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 ... ... how self-funded health plans work, the Self-Funding Success website has recently developed and ... about Self-Funded Health Plans ” was created based on common inquiries the site’s ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... Carson Liu of SkyLex Advanced Surgical, Inc. is thrilled to offer the recently ... balloon procedure, and this procedure adds to SkyLex Advanced Surgical’s already comprehensive ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Oily skin is a common and unwelcomed occurrence in people of ... a lot to offer to the discussion of dealing with excess skin oil. “Oily skin ... many home remedies that can help remove the oily shine while keeping the skin fresh ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... New patients who have sleep apnea ... with or without a referral. Sleep apnea is often left untreated because patients are ... headaches and chronic snoring. , Dr. Braasch seeks to raise awareness of sleep ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... Philadelphia PA and London UK (PRWEB) , ... ... ... have the speed, agility and ability to gain site attention and engagement over ... DrugDev educational webinar will discuss how partnering with the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... SAN DIEGO and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 27, ... SPHS ) (the "Company" or "Sophiris"), a clinical ... treatment of patients with urological diseases, today reported ... and key corporate highlights. Key ... in Clinical Development for Localized Prostate Cancer. During ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - INVICTUS MD ... IVITF; FRA: 8IS) Invictus MD is pleased to announce ... shares for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange.  ... TSXV follows a year of significant achievements for Invictus-MD. ... successful test crops at AB Laboratories Inc. ("AB Labs"), ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 The ... reach USD 16.0 billion by 2025, according to a ... prevalence of chronic diseases is anticipated to be responsible ... which thereby widens the scope for growth during the ... bariatric population, which is highly susceptible to chronic diseases, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: