Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A New Device to Help Stop Contact Lens Infections by Analyzing Tear Chemistry

Schematic drawing of the chip

More than 130 million people use contact lenses around the globe for vision correction and color change. Around 60,000 people catch contact lens related infections globally. Poor approach and improper hygiene towards contact lenses may be held accountable since contact lenses themselves are not a risk provided they are FDA approved. To combat against the infections, a new device is under consideration that could judge the tear chemistry to recommend personalized cleaning advice on contact lenses.

Contact lenses need to be disinfected thoroughly, after each wear, every day. Unfortunately, despite cleaning them religiously, some of the bacteria and protein debris still cling to the surface. Some of the disinfectants are not efficient enough killing the strong protein whereas some of them have preservatives that may trigger an allergic response. In both the case a contact lens induced infection is expected. A new tiny device, just as the size of a coin is hoped to eliminate many of these infections. As reported in the journal Lab on a Chip, researchers from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and George Washington University have built a device to recommend personalized cleaning solutions based on the chemistry of tears.

This microfluidic device takes a single tear and your used contact lens that is then tested by the device to suggest personalized cleaning solutions tailored to one’s tear chemistry.

Currently the prototype can test three solutions at a time but the researchers are expecting to expand the number of simultaneous testing to 10 solutions at a time. This will help the commercializing of the device & better consumer health.

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