Is it true that you are one of the estimated 140 million individuals all throughout the world who wears contact focal points? Regardless of whether your answer is yes or no, the story of the Czech scientist who created the soft contact lens—Otto Wichterle—may give you some fresh insight. The present Doodle celebrates Wichterle’s life and legacy on his 108th birthday celebration.
Otto Wichterle was born on this day in 1913 in Prostĕjov, the Czech Republic (then, at that point, Austria-Hungary). As an lover of science from his youth, Wichterle proceeded to acquire his doctorate in organic chemistry in 1936 from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT).
He educated as an professor at his alma mater during the 1950s while developing a absorbent and transparent gel for eye implants.
Political turmoil pushed Wichterle out of the ICT, driving him to keep refining his hydrogel development at home.
In 1961, Wichterle (a glasses wearer himself) produced the first soft contact lenses with a DIY contraption made of a kid’s erector set, a bicycle light battery, a phonograph motor, and homemade glass tubing and molds.
As the designer of incalculable licenses and a long lasting specialist, Wichterle was chosen the first President of the Academy of the Czech Republic following the country’s foundation in 1993.
While Wichterle is most well-known as the inventor of contact lenses, his advancements likewise laid the foundation for state-of-the-art medical otechnlogies, for example, “smart” biomaterials, which are utilized to reestablish human connective tissues, and bio-recognizable polymers, which have inspired a new standard for drug administration.
Happy birthday, Otto Wichterle—thanks for helping the world see eye to eye!
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