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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Healing eyes with contact lenses

Article courtesy of Media Relations

A cross-disciplinary University of Waterloo team has developed a new contact lens material that could act as a bandage for corneal wounds while releasing drugs in a controlled manner to help the eye heal faster.

On 18th January 2024, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Technical University of Liberec (TUL) in the Czech Republic and University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) through the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN).

As Canada’s largest nanotechnology institute, committed to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) actively celebrates emerging leaders in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. These individuals from across the globe whose research aligns with one or more of our thematic areas and the UN SDGs are eligible for the WIN Rising Star Award in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

For now, Alfred Yu is focused on two distinct lines of research as he works to develop the next generation of ultrasound technology – one involving diagnosis and the other involving therapy.

But when he looks ahead, the University of Waterloo biomedical engineer can see a day when the two converge in a single, powerful tool to guide and deliver medical treatment at the same time.

As a child, 2016 Nanofellowship awardee Youssef Helwa (BASc ’15, nanotechnology engineering, MASc ’17, electrical engineering from UWaterloo) was mesmerized by his mother’s stories about the patients she cared for as a surgeon.

Carolyn Ren, a Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology member and professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, has been named among the top 100 most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network. Professor Ren is honoured in the annual ranking's Manulife Science and Technology category, which recognizes women in STEM roles who are challenging the status quo for knowledge and female empowerment. 

Despite breakthrough diabetes research over the past century, people with diabetes still need to rely on obtaining blood samples to monitor their sugar levels. Daily glucose monitoring by tracking blood sugar levels is essential for managing both types 1 and 2 diabetes, however the current method – finger pricking – is invasive and can become burdensome with how often it needs to be done.

A startup company with deep roots at the University of Waterloo won the top prize in a pitch contest focused on the use of nanomaterials to create or improve commercial products.

AquaSensing, which designs battery-free water leak detection systems for healthcare and industrial applications, took home $10,000, plus a spot in a virtual incubator, in the Nanomaterials Virtual Pitch Contest staged by not-for-profit NanoOntario and CMC Microsystems, a not-for-profit managing Canada’s National Design Network®.