A European research collaboration has developed the first smart contact lens with an integrated artificial iris that can automatically set optimal pupil size for focus and depth of field.
The smart contact lens is designed to operate for an entire day due to an ultra-low power design, while the iris aperture is tunable through concentric rings on an integrated liquid crystal display, offering a practical solution for people who suffer from iris deficiencies like aniridia, higher order aberrations like keratoconus, and photophobia, said researchers.
Published in Scientific Reports from Nature, the first performance assessment of the new artificial iris lens demonstrated its potential to expand visual sharpness, decrease optical aberrations and reduce the amount of light entering the eye in a dynamic manner, they explained. “The artificial iris lens is capable of dynamically changing the pupil size, bringing back two levels of functionality of the eye, being light adaptation and expanded depth-of-focus.”
The new lens significantly surpasses current solutions to combat human iris deficiencies, said Luc Van den hove, CEO of consortium partner Imec, a specialist nano electronics research and innovation hub in Belgium. “We are convinced that this artificial iris prototype has all the potential to become a game changer in ophthalmic treatment.”