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Noninvasive Continuous Monitoring of Tear Glucose Using Glucose-Sensing Contact Lenses

Ascaso, Francisco J.; Huerva, Valentín

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000698

The incidence of diabetes mellitus is dramatically increasing in the developed countries. Tight control of blood glucose concentration is crucial to diabetic patients to prevent microvascular complications. Self-monitoring of blood glucose is widely used for controlling blood glucose levels and usually performed by an invasive test using a portable glucometer. Many technologies have been developed over the past decades with the purpose of obtaining a continuous physiological glycemic monitoring. A contact lens is the ideal vehicle for continuous tear glucose monitoring of glucose concentration in tear film. There are several research groups that are working in the development of contact lenses with embedded biosensors for continuously and noninvasively monitoring tear glucose levels. Although numerous aspects must be improved, contact lens technology is one step closer to helping diabetic subjects better manage their condition, and these contact lenses will be able to measure the level of glucose in the wearer’s tears and communicate the information to a mobile phone or computer. This article reviews studies on ocular glucose and its monitoring methods as well as the attempts to continuously monitor the concentration of tear glucose by using contact lens–based sensors.

*MD, PhD

Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital Clínico Universitario “Lozano Blesa”, Zaragoza, Spain (FJA); School of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain (FJA); Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain (FJA); Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital “Arnau de Vilanova”, Lleida, Spain (VH); and IRB Lleida, Lleida, Spain (VH).

Valentín Huerva Department of Ophthalmology University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova Avda Alcalde Rovira Roure 80 25198 Lleida Spain e-mail:

© 2016 American Academy of Optometry