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Engineering Comfortable Contact Lenses

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chemical engineers at Stanford University have developed technology aimed at making contact lenses more comfortable. Dry eyes caused by contact lenses occur when moisture protecting the surface of the eye, known as the tear film, breaks up in a process known as dewetting. The researchers found that the oily layer on the surface of the tear film plays an important role in providing strength and flexibility to the water beneath, as well as preventing evaporation. They recognized that the key to developing comfortable contacts, is creating lenses that do not break up the tear film. Based on these findings, the researchers developed a device that mimics the tear film on the surface of the eye. The device will enable scientists and manufacturers to test the effects of different variables on the tear film, such as materials, humidity and gravity, when creating the next generation of contact lenses.    

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