Google’s clandestine ‘[X]’ laboratory offers new details on its glucose-sensing contact lens project to help those suffering from diabetes, saying that it’s looking for “expert partners” to help get the technology to market.
Google (NSDQ:GOOG) is hoping to forge some new partnerships to support its newly unveiled smart contact lens, which is laden with sensors and transmitters that aim to help diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels.
The lens, still in early stages of development, features microchips and glucose sensors “so small they look like bits of glitter” and a transmitting antenna thinner than a human hair. The prototype, which has undergone some preliminary testing for comfort, functionality and reliability, can read glucose levels once per second.
The company built the lens from scratch, developing new chips and sensors and transmitters small enough to sit on the eye.
“We got rid of all the unnecessary components and shrunk only the most important ones onto a really tiny chip. To do this, we had to completely redesign them – and in some cases, build entirely new tools to make the components,” according to materials Google’s “[X]” lab sent to MassDevice.com. “Then, instead of mounting the components on a typical fiberglass circuit board, we mounted them on a very thin, flexible, plastic-like film.”
The microchip and glucose sensor are embedded between 2 soft layers of contact lens material with a tiny opening that allows tears to seep through. Researchers have theorized that tears may represent a reliable measure of blood glucose levels, posing a potential alternative to the multiple daily finger-prick blood tests that diabetics must perform to manage their insulin intake, but development poses several practical challenges.
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Source: www.massdevice.com; Arezu Sarvestani; January 21, 2014.