Over the past few years, electronics have evolved way past the silicon wafer. Researchers have developed functional circuits that can meld with human tissue and dissolve when sprayed with water, and stretchable batteries that could soon power wearable gadgets.
Now, a group of Swiss scientists has revealed the latest in innovative electronics: a flexible, transparent circuit that is tiny and thin enough to fit on the surface of a contact lens.
The researchers put their new device on a contact lens as a proof-of-concept in a paper published today in Nature Communications-an electronically-enabled lens, they suggest, could be useful in monitoring the intraocular pressure of people with glaucoma, for instance-but they envision the circuitry someday being implanted in all sorts of biological contexts.
"I believe this technology can have important impacts in medicine and health monitoring," says lead author Giovanni Salvatore, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. "It could be used for very wearable and minimally invasive devices, for ultralight solar cells, and most importantly, for very conformable and implantable devices which can serve to monitor biometric parameters in the human body."
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