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Jellyfish Contact Lenses

Slices of jellyfish infused with your cornea!
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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A jellyfish is an invertebrate made up mostly of water, it has no heart, brain or bones. It is made up of 95-97% water, 3% protein and 1% minerals.

Polymers are plastics that contain nitrogen and dissolve in water. Soft contact lenses are made of crosslinked polyacrylamide, which actually absorbs water, (will not dissolve) so it's a good material for contact lenses. Anywhere from 38% to 79% of a soft contact lens is water, and the water keeps the lens soft and flexible. Over 75% of contact lens wearers in the U.S. use soft lenses.

Jellyfish don't have eyes like we know them, though some medusae have ocelli which are light-sensitive spots on the rim of the bell.

Jellyfish do have sensory organs called rhopalia, which form a row of small round structures along the rim of the bell. The rhopalia include sensory organs called statocysts that help maintain the jellyfish's balance. When a jellyfish tips too far to one side, the statocyst will stimulate nerve endings that cause muscles to contract, turning the jellyfish right side up.

OK, so if you take your soft contact lens and play with it, you'll notice that this polyacrylamide feels very similar to jellyfish flesh. However, if you've ever tried to swim with your contacts, and open your eyes under water, there are problems. A contact lens made from a slice of jellyfish would not only solve this problem, but it would probably offer some sort of aqueous bonus, being perhaps that the wearer of said contact could see great distances under water, and hidden, normally invisible things as well. (invisible to land creatures). I am confident that this would work well because of the similarity of polyacrylamide and jellyfish.

Additionally, those wealthier myopics could opt to have their contacts made of slices of statocysts, which would not only improve vision above and below the deep, but also could serve the same purpose that they do in jellyfish, which would be to cause your eye muscles to contract whenever you get turned upside down! The benefits of this ability are being researched as I type this.

green_umbrella, Dec 17 2002

(?) Greenbrolly's link - A picture of jellyfish http://www.masla.co...ges/jellyfish01.gif
[green_umbrella], if you wish to add a link, please us the "link" button that appears under the text of each idea. [my face your, Oct 04 2004]

Lenses from Brittle Stars http://news.bbc.co....hnology/2562093.stm
This idea is not as half-baked as you might think ... [8th of 7, Oct 04 2004]


       i think this is a marvellous idea, but one possible drawback:   

       the slices of jellyfish would have to be completely transparent in order to see clearly, and when i imagine jellyfish slices they're slightly cloudy.   

       i wonder if there exists some sort of procedure to make them as transparent as they need to be.   

       or if my imagination is lying to me, and that jellyfish ARE in fact, completely transparent.
screwdriverqueen, Dec 17 2002

       I think the cloudiness is just salinification. (Think road salt on your car's windshield from the highway in winter.) The ocean carries a lot of bacteria as well, so before the contacts are worn they would obviously have to go through a disinfecting process which would also remove the salt from the jellyfish surface thereby making them transparent once again.   

       Another possible thing to do is use baby jellyfish, which are called planula. Planula are tiny discs with a garden of cilia on their bottom - the cilia could cling to the wearer's eye, and no jellyfish death or maiming would have to occur, because they come in eye-size.   


       They look like contacts, don't they??
green_umbrella, Dec 17 2002

       Because your soft contact lenses are half- to three-quarters water, if you leave one out on your bathroom counter and go to work, you will go home to find it has become a crunchy little piece of plastic.   

       This said, if jellyfish are 98% water, doesn't it seem that the things would dry out, even on a semi-moist environment like your eye, in no time?   

       How long does a jellyfish actually stay "jelly", once it's washed up on shore? I'm not sure, but I don't guess very long, and I bet smaller, planula-sized bits of material will last for even briefer amounts of time.   

       Furthermore, I'd venture to guess that its body chemistry would have something to do with the fact that the jellyfish doesn't dessicate in such a salt-heavy environment (similar to why freshwater fish can't survive in the ocean and vice versa) -- what would happen when you started wearing jellyfish contacts outside the confines of the murky deep? I'd think that would only accelerate the cellular decay. I'm not a scientist, but I don't figure that jellyfish contact lenses would last you very long at all -- you'd spend all day changing them.
cswiii, Dec 17 2002

       On the contrary, I would figure that they'd last longer than regular soft contact lenses, because more water = more time to evaporate.   

       The cellular decay on the other hand, is a different issue. To plan for this, you would have to follow similar guidelines to those of blood and/or organ donors, specifically you would have to find a type match. If this is unfeasible, an enzyme could be developed that could be injected into your eye when you're first fitted with the lenses that would turn your eye into s symbiotic environment for the jellyfish slice. (like a fetus in a yolk- the lens would stay healthy by getting nutrients from your eye. An added side-effect of this would be that you would no longer get eye mucus in the morning. The lens would use this substance as sustenance.)
green_umbrella, Dec 17 2002

       But what would this do the price of contact lenses!?
XSarenkaX, Dec 17 2002

       Thanks [watermel].   

       Pleasant, well no of course not. But I remember having braces and that was pretty miserable.   

       Now I have straight teeth.   

       [Blissmiss], simple. The orphaned jellies go on to become fierce, vengeance-bent grown up jellies who band together into massive herds and advance upon the unwitting shoreline community, which as we all know is made up of rich Connecticutians who support the ludicrous notion of 'private shoreline', and as everyone knows, the world's shoreline should exist for the public to enjoy.   

       See, this idea is socially conscious as well as scientifically evolutionary!
green_umbrella, Dec 17 2002

       No jellies allowed in my eyes, thank you. Blech!
XSarenkaX, Dec 17 2002

       You could always use the common cannonball jellyfish, which has no tentacles (and does not sting).   

       Perhaps a solution to getting bacteria trapped beneath the jellyfish contact would be to have them genetically infused with your cornea, like the subject header says. This way, there would be no space beneath them for bacteria to enter or get trapped, and instead of seeing them as contacts, you could consider this optical surgery, much like corrective laser surgery only with extra-special benefits.   

       PS - not a diver, just an enthusiast. :)
green_umbrella, Dec 17 2002

       Aren't jellyfish poisonous somehow?   

       My contacts can't swim very well.   

       I would imagine that a dead jellyfish would rot just like anything else.
RayfordSteele, Dec 17 2002

       By the time you've kept immune response from occurring, shaped the jellyfish just right, kept it from decaying, etc., you might as well get Lasik.
Malakh, Dec 17 2002

       wouldnt the jelly fish decay or would you just freeze them somehow?   

       It would absolutely not decay, as it would continue to draw nourishment from the eyeball mucus (assuming there is either a type match, or the eyeball has been injected with the special enzyme I mentioned above.)
green_umbrella, Dec 18 2002

       This makes about as much sense as wearing a wolverine on your head to cover a bald spot. Fishbone.
linguist, Dec 18 2002

       "Eyeball mucus"?
angel, Dec 18 2002

       // This makes about as much sense as wearing a wolverine on your head to cover a bald spot //   

       Oh. Ah. You mean I souldn't have this wolverine on my head, then ?   

       As to the idea - there is more merit in it than some of the annotators give it credit for.
8th of 7, Dec 18 2002

       It's the wolverine that I feel sorry for.
DrBob, Dec 18 2002

       [8th of 7], that's an awesome link. I would like to see them go into more detail about the actual lenses of the brittle star, and not just the potential. But I guess that would be in a science journal soon enough.
green_umbrella, Dec 18 2002

       Hmmmm, interesting idea...*strokes chin thoughtfully*
koolcj291, Jan 22 2004

       Ok, here is the killer on the jellyfish contact lens idea. Osmotic Pressure. Jellyfish have more water, the human eye has less. Water is going to leave the jellyfish contact and gravitate to the eye. The contact will adhere to the corneal surface so tightly because of this that it will be very, very, very, very, very, (not just very very very very) difficult to remove them. DISCLAIMER: DO NOT TRY THE FOLLOWING AT HOME. Sometimes contact lens wearers shower with their contact on and let water run continously into their eyes. 15 minutes later they go to take their contact lens out, but it has adhered (due to osmotic pressure) so tightly that they end up peeling a bit of cornea off in the process and get to enjoy a nice trip to the emergency room. So to summarize: Jellyfish contacts= ouch.
eyeguy, Jan 27 2004

       Genius. Pure bloody genius. I can only assume that the avalanche of croissants were washed away in the Great Crash.
lostdog, Sep 25 2007

       quite right but I may need to take in the detail in the morning. jellyfish sting would that be a problem?
po, Sep 25 2007

       Hang on, this is silly. One, a jellyfish-slice contact lens would rot and you'd have smelly eyes. Two, why on earth would jellyfish-slice lenses be any more likely than regular lenses to not wash away when you swim?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 25 2007

       This is the most wonderfully silly thing I've read in a long time.
drememynd, Sep 26 2007

       // but it would probably offer some sort of aqueous bonus // Ah, the spiderman theory. You'd probably be able to squeeze through really small gaps too.
marklar, Sep 26 2007

       Interesting idea. Now we just have to worry about the ensuing Jellyfish insurrection, taking over their hosts, and conquering the world! Actually, could be a plot for a cheesy sci-fi movie...
Runtman, Sep 26 2007

       //Jellyfish Contact Lenses//   

       Do you think that Jellyfish need to see where they are going?
Ling, Sep 26 2007

       Jellyfish really freakin hurt, and that's when it just stings your leg. Can't quite imagine why it would be a good idea to put one in your eye.
quantum_flux, Sep 28 2007

       I would not want to put anything containing nematocysts on my eyes.   

       That said, have your studies discussed the benefits of the symbiotic algae species that live inside the bell of jellyfish?
ye_river_xiv, Sep 29 2007

       Something looks decidedly fishy about this whole idea.
vincevincevince, Oct 01 2007


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