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Development of the first photochromic contact lenses

28 Nov 2010
Experts from the Singapore Institute of IBN (Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology) developed the world's first photochromic contact lens that can change color depending on the light. In bright light, the lenses are dark chameleon, protecting the user from exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Recall that the photochromic effect is the next phenomenon. Some chemicals commonly with a complex molecular structure, changing its color under the influence of visible or ultraviolet radiation. Unlike conventional fading colors, this effect is reversible. The original painting or lack thereof is restored after some time in the dark, under the influence of the radiation of a different frequency, or when heated. The speed and intensity of color staining depend not only on the molecular structure of the photochromic compound, but also on the environment in which it may be introduced (glass, ceramics, liquid, plastic, fabric, etc.).
Many of the photochromic material when irradiated with intense light may darken, with their "performance" reaches a few microseconds. This allows the use of photochromic body as light valves to protect the eyes from the sudden flash of intense radiation. It is also possible to use them as controls light transmittance according to the light intensity.
Now the Institute is negotiating with two companies on the issue of lenses on the market. At first sight, the lens does not differ from the usual, but they have a special substance, which change their color. Darkening of contact lenses takes place in a matter of seconds, much faster than a chameleon with glasses who need to do a few minutes. According to Singapore experts to develop lenses took them less than a year. The first lens chameleon may hit the market within one year.
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