To free diabetics from daily pinprick tests, a startup called Sentek Group has come up with a new, noninvasive way of monitoring diabetes that doesn’t require any pricey machinery. The Pittsburgh-based company has developed a cheap, disposable contact lens that hides behind the lower eyelid and changes color according to the glucose level of the tear fluid. Too much sugar, and the entire lens turns red; too little and it turns violet (photo). A patient matches the lens hue to a calibrated color wheel inside a compact mirror, with each shade corresponding to a glucose level.
Chemist Sanford Asher at the University of Pittsburgh created the material-a porous gel embedded with charged polystyrene particles. The nanometer-sized balls form a lattice that expands and contracts with the hydrogel. Sentek infuses lenses made from this gel with protein molecules that bind to glucose in tear fluid and cause the lens to swell. As the spacing in the polystyrene lattice changes, the material diffracts light at different wavelengths to produce a color change. Sentek hopes to have a product ready for human testing by late 2002.
The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it
Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.
These materials were meant to revolutionize the solar industry. Why hasn’t it happened?
Perovskites are promising, but real-world conditions have held them back.
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.