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Micro Component Contact Lenses

11/25/16     In a blog earlier this month we wrote about glucose monitoring contact lenses. “Hi-tech” contact lenses with micro-sized components are all the buzz these days. Scientists are excited about the wide array of applications that could be incorporated into a contact lens, things like detecting blood sugar levels, monitoring body levels, myopia control, drug delivery and also getting into the electronic world of tiny tv screens embedded into a lens!

There are issues scientists will need to work through before all of this becomes a reality. Germs is one of the biggest hurdles researchers are currently working on. The applications that are on the table would making wearing contact lenses a 24/7 thing, increasing the risk of infection.
Another issue is developing the micro components needed for these applications while keeping the devices affordable. Another real challenge is manufacturing and storing the lenses without degradation. With that, a concern that these experimental devices will show a low level of participation in clinical trials. People may be concerned that they may harm their vision.
And as in any ocular device, comfort level can pose an issue, considering the contact thickness required to hold medicines or electronic components.
Before these dreams of useful applications embedded into contact lenses becomes a reality, there are still some major issues that need to be conquered in order to make these dreams a safe reality. Micro Engineering Solutions is working hard on making these dreams become a reality for millions of people.

Long releasing swallowable pill

11/17/16     A new drug delivery device that stays in the stomach and slowly releases its contents could replace daily pills with weekly or monthly ones. Typically once a pill is swallowed, it passes through our body within a day. A cardiologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a CSO from a MIT spinout have teamed up and created a pill that once swallowed, the outside capsule dissolves and the inside polymer expands into a star shape in the stomach. It releases small molecule drugs for days or weeks into the body. The star shaped design enables it to stay in the stomach without passing through the pylorus while allowing food to continue to pass through.

Most current drug delivery systems achieve this long-lasting effect by being an injectable or implantable, or involve some other invasive procedure. This new capsule is changing the way people take medicines from daily use to just a monthly use.

Microfluidic Devices

11/11/16     Microfluidic devices are designed to control extremely tiny droplets of fluid such as blood, drugs, or gel-like fluids. Tiny channels, v-grooves, holes, and valves are accurately positioned on tiny chips and surfaces to push, pull, pressurize, or atomize these fluids in order to give the microfluidic device the required functionality. Key to the efficient working of microfluidic devices are sub-micron surface finishes, extremely accurate adhesion and positioning of features in relation to other features, and an understanding of the fluid flow and interactions with external forces — such as static, temperature, pressure, and humidity.
MES creates features in the sub-micron range using several different processes including micro molding, micro machining, lithography, and direct ion etching. Some applications among many others that require this level of precision and positioning include microfluidic chips, insulin and other drug delivery valving, and drug aspirators.

Glucose Monitoring Contact Lens 

11/2/16 Oregon State University researchers have fabricated sensors using nanostructured transistors that can detect subtle glucose changes in the tear fluid in eyes. This device would transmit real-time glucose information to a wearable pump that delivers the hormones needed to regulate blood sugar: insulin and glucagon. Imagine type 1 diabetes patients being able to monitor their blood glucose levels and control their insulin infusions using a transparent sensor on a contact lens!

The researchers currently have fully transparent sensors working, they are now developing the communication aspect. This process could go in many different directions. One direction being explored is communication with a smart phone to warn you if your glucose was high or low, then you could self-medicate.
These sensors are being explored for other purposes like cancer detection by sensing characteristic biomarkers of cancer risk. Their high sensitivity could also measure things such as oxygen levels, pulse rate, and other aspects of health monitoring that require precise control.
This type of cutting edge micro technology has endless purposes in the health care industry.