Korean researchers have developed a drug delivery
system for diabetes medication,… building on Google’s glucose-sensing smart contact
lens for measuring glucose levels. The method could also have significant implications
for drug delivery systems and treatments for other diseases.
Lee Ji-won has more. The prevalence of diabetes is increasing worldwide,
with the number of people with diabetes nearly quadrupling to 420-million since 1980.
Koreans are part of the growing number as well. “Over 5-million Koreans have diabetes. Including
people at risk for the disease, the estimate goes up to 12-million.” Since diabetes is a lifelong condition, people
need to monitor their blood sugar levels every day.
To do that, they use a glucose meter, which requires them to prick their finger to get
a blood sample for a glucose test. But Korean researchers at Pohang University
of Science and Technology have found a new way to both measure glucose levels and deliver
medication using a soft contact lens. When a person puts the lens on, a biosensor
embedded in it measures the sugar level in the person’s tears.
With the smart contact developed by the Korean researchers, if the glucose level is too high,
an electric current is released, melting a gold film covering the drug delivery system,…
which releases the drug into the eyes. The technology is expected to help treat eye
diseases such as retina diseases and glaucoma. “The big development in this research is that
we were able to find ways to deliver the drug through tears, and that we are the first to
make a smart contact lens that can treat diabetes.” The research has gone through a technology
verification process and is now going through clinical testing, with the hope it will be
ready for commercialization after five years. Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.