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Innovating Science® - Biomaterials to Make Your Own Contact Lenses

Biomaterials to Make Your Own Contact Lenses

Product # IS3402

Engineers play an integral role in the process of finding a "perfect" material or ratio of materials to maximize the desired properties and decrease the amount of negative effects of other properties. For example, when developing the perfect material for use in contacts, an engineer will have to test many different materials before finding the right one. Therefore, testing a hydrogel, which is favorable for all three of the main properties needed for a contact lens to function properly seems to be logical. A hydrogel is a polymer similar to plastic, which has favorable optical properties and favorable flexibility/strength but like paper and glasses/ceramics is hydrophilic, which is necessary for a contact lens to function properly. The main job of a biomedical engineer developing contact lenses today is to make a hydrogel and find the perfect "ratio" of polymer to water. The composition of the hydrogel needs to be hydrophilic enough to maintain a wet environment in the eye but not too hydrophilic so that the contact begins to swell and change size and shape. Students will engineer a lens using 2 different materials. They will determine the correct material and the concentration that has similar properties as a contact lens, while discovering the correct optical properties, tensile strength and hydrophobicity.

Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*

Disciplinary Core Ideas: ETS1.A; ETS1.B; ETS1.C; PS1.A
Performance Expectations: MS-ETS1-1; MS- ETS1-3; MS- ETS1-4; HS-PS1-3; HS-ETS1-2
Cross Cutting Concepts: Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World; Patterns
Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Kit Includes:
300g Gelatin Powder
15 pieces Zinc Metal
15 Plastic Pipettes
45 Petri Dishes
100 Glass Cover Slips
15 pieces Chromatography Paper
15 Plastic Microscope Slides
15 Glass Microscope Slides
1pkg Toothpicks
1 bar Soap

DOT Info:

*"Next Generation Science Standards" is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

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