The first pair of glasses was assembled more than 700 years ago. For centuries, technology has provided us with new ways to remedy our visual impairments.
That story continues now that advancements in nano and digital technology find their way to ophthalmology. Imec is working on applications such as smart contact lens technology and eye-tracking for clinical research.
Smart contact lens technology
Imec’s expertise in miniaturization and flexible electronics come together in an integration platform for smart contact lenses. A thermoformed lens insert contains all the necessary integrated technology components, such as:
- electronic circuitry – with signal driving, power management, signal conditioning and communication on one low-power ASIC
- power management – including thin-film solar cells and/or a battery, power coupling through an antenna and a power management circuit on the ASIC
You can build on this platform to develop technological solutions for ophthalmologic challenges, such as:
- mild eye conditions like presbyopia, that benefit from more user-friendly solutions than the current (bifocal) glasses and contact lenses
- serious eye disorders and injuries such as a damaged or missing iris, which can be remedied by activating liquid crystal cells in the smart contact lens.
Another way to make smart contact lenses is to integrate a number of sensing capabilities, like the monitoring of eye medicine concentration.
EOG technology for ophthalmologic and neurologic research
Electro-oculography (EOG) is a technique that’s used in ophthalmology to examine eyes and record eye movements. An EOG is usually obtained by affixing electrodes around the eyes that measure potential differences.
Based on this principle, imec has developed a prototype of ergonomical eye-tracking glasses. They use dry electrodes that are built into the frame. Thanks to a Bluetooth connection and extreme low-power operation, these glasses can be used for continuous long-term monitoring in an everyday setting.
Develop the next generation of ophthalmology technology with imec
Both our smart contact lens as our EOG platforms are ready for further development. Access them through one of our R&D programs where you can tune our technologies to your own requirements. Or enter into a bilateral collaboration with imec and let our in-house experts guide you through the entire process of designing your market-ready solution.