Noninvasive glucose monitoring with a contact lens and smartphone

You Rong Lin, Chin Chi Hung, Hsien Yi Chiu, Bo Han Chang, Bor-Ran Li, Sheng Jen Cheng, Jia Wei Yang, Shien-Fong Lin, Guan-Yu Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Diabetes has become a chronic metabolic disorder, and the growing diabetes population makes medical care more important. We investigated using a portable and noninvasive contact lens as an ideal sensor for diabetes patients whose tear fluid contains glucose. The key feature is the reversible covalent interaction between boronic acid and glucose, which can provide a noninvasive glucose sensor for diabetes patients. We present a phenylboronic acid (PBA)-based HEMA contact lens that exhibits a reversible swelling/shrinking effect to change its thickness. The difference in thickness can be detected in a picture taken with a smartphone and analyzed using software. Our novel technique offers the following capabilities: (i) non-enzymatic and continuous glucose detection with the contact lens; (ii) no need for an embedded circuit and power source for the glucose sensor; and (iii) the use of a smartphone to detect the change in thickness of the contact lens with no need for additional photo-sensors. This technique is promising for a noninvasive measurement of the glucose level and simple implementation of glucose sensing with a smartphone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3208
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Contact lens
  • Glucose monitoring
  • Image detection
  • Noninvasive
  • Smartphone

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