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Monitoring diabetes with contact lenses

NSF Award:

EFRI-BSBA: Second Window  (University of Washington)

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Individuals with diabetes must closely monitor their blood sugar levels in order to ensure the correct dosage and timing of insulin injections. However, the finger-pricking method most commonly used by diabetics is invasive, inconvenient and requires strict patient compliance. Now, a research team at the University of Washington has developed a glucose sensor that fits like a contact lens onto the surface of the eye.

Offering a convenient, less-invasive alternative to traditional monitoring, the sensor system includes a glucose sensor, antenna, communication interface and readout circuitry. The system detects glucose levels in tears and then wirelessly transmits the information to an external reader. While the lens is not yet available to the public, the team believes their research will pave the way for the next generation of commercial technologies for convenient, continuous glucose monitoring.


  • an electronic glucose sensor fits into a contact lens
A contact lens holds a glucose sensor.
Babak A. Parviz, University of Washington

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