Korean research teams develop smart contact lens using 3D printer

Image credit: KERI

Two research groups in Korea have collaborated to develop core technology for smart contact lenses that can implement augmented reality (AR)-based navigation through a 3D printing process.

Dr Seol Seung-Kwon’s Smart 3D Printing Research Team at the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) and Professor Lim-Doo Jeong’s team at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) do this by printing micro-patterns on a lens display using a 3D printer without applying voltage. 

The scientists said, “The key is the Meniscus of used ink” whereas the Meniscus is a phenomenon in which a curved surface is formed on the outer wall without water droplets bursting due to capillary action when water droplets are gently pressed or pulled with a certain pressure.

The research team added that their micro-pattern technology is very fine (7.2 micrometres) that can be applied to smart contact lens displays for AR, and the colour is continuous and uniform.

Dr Seol Seung-Kwon’s of KERI said, “Our achievement is a development of 3D printing technology that can print functional micro-patterns on a non-planner substrate that can commercialise advanced smart contact lenses to implement AR.” 

He added, “It will greatly contribute to the miniaturisation and versatility of AR devices.”

The researchers believe that this accomplishment will garner a lot of attention from companies related to batteries and biosensors that require Prussian blue micro-patterning, as well as the AR field. 

They currently plan to find related demand companies and promote technology transfer.

In recognition of its excellence, the related research results were recently published as a cover article in Advanced Science (IF 17.521/JCR 4.71%), a world-renowned academic journal in the field of materials science.

Established in 1976, KERI is a government-funded research institute that is part of Korea’s National Research Council for Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and ICT.