Contact lens sensors in ocular diagnostics

Adv Healthc Mater. 2015 Apr 22;4(6):792-810. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201400504. Epub 2014 Nov 17.


Contact lenses as a minimally invasive platform for diagnostics and drug delivery have emerged in recent years. Contact lens sensors have been developed for analyzing the glucose composition of tears as a surrogate for blood glucose monitoring and for the diagnosis of glaucoma by measuring intraocular pressure. However, the eye offers a wider diagnostic potential as a sensing site and therefore contact lens sensors have the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and conditions. With advances in polymer synthesis, electronics and micro/nanofabrication, contact lens sensors can be produced to quantify the concentrations of many biomolecules in ocular fluids. Non- or minimally invasive contact lens sensors can be used directly in a clinical or point-of-care setting to monitor a disease state continuously. This article reviews the state-of-the-art in contact lens sensor fabrication, their detection, wireless powering, and readout mechanisms, and integration with mobile devices and smartphones. High-volume manufacturing considerations of contact lenses are also covered and a case study of an intraocular pressure contact lens sensor is provided as an example of a successful product. This Review further analyzes the contact lens market and the FDA regulatory requirements for commercialization of contact lens sensors.

Keywords: contact lenses; diabetes; diagnostics; intraocular pressure; sensors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Electronics
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure