We Have Contact

Science proving better sight—through microtools that help treat glaucoma

What if a contact lens could do more than improve your vision? What if it could save your sight, or tell you if medication and lifestyle changes are reducing the impacts of glaucoma?

Here at Santa Clara, Emre Araci, an assistant professor of bioengineering, has been leading a team to create a contact lens that can spot and help treat the leading cause of blindness in America.

“Every step has been done here at SCU,” he notes. “In addition to my lab, we use SCU’s Center for Nanostructures, and the students have been involved in every step along the way, from development of processes to design and prototyping.”

Araci and his crew of student researchers created a flexible contact lens from special materials as safe and comfortable as regular contacts—but with a tiny sensor gauging eye pressure, catching changes as small as 4 micrometers.

Araci is working to get approval to test the contact in humans, where it could detect glaucoma earlier than traditional methods and help assess the effectiveness of treatments. Support work like this: campaign.scu.edu.

post-image Illustration by Barry Falls
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