On Wednesday, Google paid tributes with a unique doodle to Czech chemist Otto Wichterle, who is known to have invented the modern soft contact lens which is now used by an estimated 140 million people around the world for their eyesight needs.
27th of October marks Wichterle’s birth anniversary and today is his 108th birth anniversary, an occasion which called for the doodle.
Fresh Google insight on the scientist
According to Google, this would enlighten netizens with fresh insight on the scientist, regardless of whether they themselves are contact lens users.
The Doodle of Google with its unique design, illustrates Otto Wichterle upon his fingertips holding a single piece of contact lens, while light is reflected to create the Google logo in the background, as a representative of eyesight.
About Otto Wichterle
The scientist was born on October 27, 1913, at Prostĕjov in the Czech Republic (then, Austria-Hungary).
As a lover of science from his youth, in 1936 Wichterle went on to earn his doctorate in organic chemistry from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT).
During the 1950s he taught as a professor at his alma mater while developing an absorbent and transparent gel for eye implants.
In 1961, Wichterle, who wore spectacles himself, created the very 1st soft contact lenses with a DIY apparatus made of a child’s erector set, a phonograph motor, a bicycle light battery and homemade glass tubing and moulds.
Interestingly, this was the earliest version of the modern contact lenses which are now used.
Wichterle’s genius is also reflected in the fact that he developed the contact lens at his home, where he was refining hydrogel advancement after political unrest pushed him out of the ICT.
Inventor of countless patents and a lifelong researcher
While Otto Wichterle is most well-known as the inventor of contact lenses, his innovations also laid the foundation for state-of-the-art medical technologies such as “smart” biomaterials, which are used to rebuild human connective tissues, and bio-recognizable polymers, which have stimulated a new standard for drug administration.
He was the inventor of countless patents and a lifelong researcher.
Wichterle was elected as the 1st President of the Academy of the Czech Republic, following the country’s establishment in 1993.
Wishing Wichterle on his 108th birth anniversary with the doodle, Google said, “Happy birthday, Otto Wichterle—thanks for helping the world see eye to eye!