People with diabetes can monitor their blood glucose levels continuously via electrodes implanted under their skin, but that method can hurt and can even lead to infections.
Researchers think they have a more elegant solution: a biosensing contact lens that detects blood sugar levels. The team, led by Oregon State professor Gregory Herman, has developed an ultra-sensitive biosensor that can detect the much lower glucose concentrations found in tears, Gizmodo reports.
Combining it with an actual lens still needs to happen, and then the whole device can be tested, hopefully starting on animals in about a year.
What’s more, Herman believes the technology could someday be used to detect a number of other health conditions. As Herman explains, there’s a lot of other information that can be monitored via tears: “lactate (sepsis, liver disease), dopamine (glaucoma), urea (renal function), and proteins (cancers),” he says.