Most of the human vision disorders are directly related to the irregularities in the iris. As a solution to this, Imec, a Belgian research institution, Ghent University, Spain’s Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Fundación Jiménez Díaz, and Holst Centre in the Netherlands have developed an artificial iris which when embedded in a smart contact lens can automatically set the proper pupil size to achieve optimal focus and depth of field.
The current solutions like contact lenses with fixed iris, artificial iris implants, or glasses with variable transparency do not entirely mimic the normal functionality of the iris, therefore, are unable to solve the problem. With the expertise in miniaturized flexible electronics, low-power ASIC design, and hybrid integration, the researchers demonstrated their capacity and developed the artificial iris solution for people who suffer from iris deficiencies like aniridia, high order aberrations like keratoconus, and light sensitivity or photophobia.
The iris aperture is tunable through concentric rings on an integrated liquid crystal display (LCD). Its ultra-low power design enables it to operate for an entire day. The iris can expand the visual sharpness, decrease optical aberrations, and reduce the amount of light entering the eye dynamically. The researchers added that the prototype will further be developed into a medical device within the framework of the spin-off incubation initiative Azalea Vision, from Imec and Ghent University.