Scientists have developed a circuit board so thin it can fit on the surface of your eye.
The ultra-thin circuit can be overlaid on a contact lens, and could be a key breakthrough in the search for an implantable medical device - or even a future high-tech eye computer.
The research was made possible by printing the circuit on a one-micrometer thick layer of a substance called parylene. By printing the parylene on vinyl polymer, and then dissolving the polymer in water, the scientists were left with the incredibly fragile and thin circuit which can be applied to a contact lens.
The result is a circuit that is one sixtieth the width of a human hair.
Reported in Nature Communications, the breakthrough could be used for everything from monitoring the development of glaucoma to a range of medical and health devices.
"I believe this technology can have important impacts in medicine and health monitoring," said lead author Giovanni Salvatore, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, according to the Smithsonian.ADVERTISEMENT
"It could be used for very wearable and minimally invasive devices, for ultralight solar cells, and most importantly, for very conformable and implantable devices which can serve to monitor biometric parameters in the human body."
Work will continue on implementing similar ideas in other gadgets, though scientists note problems remain - including how to power these circuits and how to make them more durable.