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Diabetics may soon be able to wear contact lenses that continuously alert them to variations in their glucose levels by changing colours - replacing the need to routinely draw blood throughout the day.
The non-invasive technology, developed by Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor Jin Zhang at The University of Western Ontario, uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses. These engineered nanoparticles react with glucose molecules found in tears, causing a chemical reaction that changes their colour.
Zhang received $216,342 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) this morning to further develop technologies using multifunctional nanocomposites.
These technologies have vast potential applications beyond biomedical devices, including for food packaging. For example, nanocomposite films can prevent food spoilage by preventing oxygen, carbon dioxide and moisture from reaching fresh meats and other foods, or by measuring pathogenic contamination; others can make packaging increasingly biodegradable.
Overall, Western was awarded $2,659,595 for 12 projects from the CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund today.
For more, please visit: www.innovation.ca/en/news?news_id=214
About University of Western Ontario
The University of Western Ontario (known as Western or UWO) is a public research university located in London, Ontario. It was founded in 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth of Bishop's University and the Anglican Diocese of Huron as The Western University of London Ontario. Huron College, established in 1863 as an Anglican theological school, provided the basis for the new university.  The University covers 395 acres (1.6 km²) of land on the north branch of the Thames River and the main campus consists of 75 buildings. The university also has extensive land holdings outside of the main campus.
About the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI’s mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed almost $5.2 billion in support of more than 6,300 projects at 130 institutions in 65 municipalities across Canada.
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