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News Link • Inventions

Human Eye-Inspired Lens Sees the World More Clearly

•, Staff
The new lens employs a technology called GRIN – short for gradient refractive index optics – that can bend, or refract, light by varying degrees. In contrast, traditional lenses, like those found in optical telescopes and microscopes, use their surface shapes to bend light in only one way or another.

"The human eye is a GRIN lens," Michael Ponting, a polymer scientist and president of PolymerPlus, said in a statement. "As light passes from the front of the human eye lens to the back, light rays are refracted by varying degrees. It's a very efficient means of controlling the pathway of light without relying on complicated optics, and one that we attempted to mimic."

To create the artificial GRIN lens, Ponting and his team stacked thousands of nanoscale plastic layers, each with slightly different optical properties, to create a lens that can incrementally change the refraction of light. 

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