New contact lenses to protect eyes against laser accidents

The researchers developed contact lenses that use tiny amounts of gold to help protect eyes from damaging light.

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.