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Bionic Contact Lenses Tested On Rabbits

Bionic Contact Lenses Tested On Rabbits

First working prototypes tested on rabbits…

University of Washington researchers and their Finnish colleagues have made the first functioning bionic lens – a prototype with a single LED pixel, safely tested on rabbits

Researchers at the University of Washington, together with a team from Finland, have developed the first working bionic contact lens, and successfully test the prototype on rabbits.

bionic contact lenses tested on rabits Bionic Contact Lenses Tested On Rabbits

Bionic Contact Lenses

The bionic lens, first unveiled as a concept in 2008, has a single LED pixel and a 5-millimeter-long circular antenna printed onto the surface. To focus the light, the researchers used a Fresnel lens; a layered lens capable of generating an ultra-short focal length.

The antenna was used to receive a gigahertz-range radio frequency from a nearby transmitter. When the lens was outside of the eye, the transmitter was able to deliver power up to 10 feet away, however when the lens was placed on the eye the, the range decreased to less than an inch due to the fluids and tissues which interfere with signal.

The image at right shows a rabbit wearing an earlier version of the lens, which contained a circuit but no light-emitting components.

There are still several hurdles to overcome namely its range, pixel count and human safety tests. The team says the next stage is to develop a prototype with more pixels.

That’s not to say the single pixel lens has no applications, the researchers say that it “could be used in gaming, training, or giving warnings to the hearing impaired.”


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  1. Paul Marks: Electronic contact lens displays pixels on the eyes. New Scientist, 11/22/2011.
  2. Valerie Ross: Rabbits Wear 1st Augmented Reality-Style Contact Lenses. Resolution: 1 Pixel.

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