The Optics Department at IMT Atlantique and the Flexible Electronics Department at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence Georges Charpak (Mines Saint Etienne) have created the first electronic contact lens to integrate a small flexible micro-battery.
Unlike the previous wireless methods of delivering energy, which was limited to how much power was transmitted, the micro-battery is capable of emitting enough power to supply a light-emitting diode (LED) for several hours.
“This first project is part of a larger and very ambitious project aimed at creating a new generation of oculometers linked to the emergence of augmented reality helmets that have given rise to new uses (man-machine interfaces, cognitive load analysis, etc.). This opens up huge markets, while at the same time imposing new constraints on precision and integration,” says Project Head, Professor Jean-Louis de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye.
The project will also look at the use of graphene-based flexible electronics to allow for transparent lenses and will include collaborations with organisations such as the Institute de la Vision to offer a device for visual assistance for the blind.
The innovation could allow for several other applications in the medical field, from patient monitoring of intraocular pressure (IOP) to assisting surgeons in the operating theatre.
“All the elements are ready,” Bougrenet de la Tocnaye said “We should integrate it in October 2019 and hope to start testing in 2020. Then we will be able to go to the qualifying clinical tests.”