These new contact lenses absorb light and dissipate the energy using tiny, gold-based nanocapsules, by converting light to heat which then can be dissipated by a cooling breeze, or even tears. To make the nanocapsules, the researchers first coated polystyrene beads with gold nanoparticles. David Sliney, a medical physicist who spent over 40 years with the Army Medical Department says the research is “rather interesting” and different from other approaches. It has to be considered as a protective solution against lasers.
The ability of the Au nanocomposites to act as efficient light concentrators renders this approach a cost-effective alternative to other less absorbing formulations which may also be toxic or degradable upon light irradiation. However, the nanocapsules will not block a specific color. Possibly this is only the first step of their research pursuing medical applications for the technology. Such nanoparticles have a flexibility that allows them to be tailored for a variety of uses, including a biometric or chemical sensing application.