The market for smart medical devices continues moving forward at a rapid pace. Google just announced a new contact lens for diabetics. Here is the official announcement from Google. Modern Grinding is pleased to be a part of the smart medical device market from the manufacturing end of the spectrum. While we haven’t built anything close to a smart contact, we have assembled several wire products for monitoring internal vascular signals.
Google is seeking FDA approval for the smart contact lens which will be able to monitor glucose levels via tears that are captured in a sensor between two contact lenses. The device then has tiny led lights which will light up when glucose levels are out of range. For fun, we wanted to try to reverse engineer how someone would make this type of smart medical device.
IEEE Life Sciences notes a paper from February of 2012 with a MEMS affinity sensor for detection of glucose. Its length and width are each approximately 750 µm. 750 µm equates to approximately .75 millimeters, which is small but noticable. I assume the reaserchers at Google can acheive a smaller footprint it they absolutely need to – http://lifesciences.ieee.org/articles/79-recent-advances-in-mem-sensor-technology-biomedical-applications
Micro LED Light MEMS
There are a lot of micro LED light options, here is one source but this might be too large http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-20-6-6097. Personally, it seems like having the contact lens report back information is overkill. There is an antenna on the contact, if there is the ability to transmit information wirelessly, to say Google Glass, that might be the best option. I can understand why Google would want to pursue this as it might be the beginnings of Google Glass in contacts, but it seems like overkill.
If any readers have additional information about how this product might be made, please send them along. Modern Grinding manufactures electrodes and wires for smart medical devices and smart guidewires.