Google Doodle Honours Czech Chemist Otto Wichterle on his 108th Birthday

Otto Wichterle was born on 27 October 1913 in Prostĕjov, the Czech Republic (then, Austria-Hungary).

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Google Doodle Celebrates Birthday of Otto Wichterle, Inventor of Contact Lenses</p></div>

Google Doodle on Wednesday, 27 October, is celebrating the 108th birth anniversary of Czech chemist Otto Wichterle. He is known for his invention of soft contact lenses.

On Wichterle's birthday, Google shared a doodle of him with a contact lens on his finger tips.


Who was Otto Wichterle?

Otto Wichterle was born on 27 October 1913 in Prostĕjov, the Czech Republic (then, Austria-Hungary). He was a lover of science and earned his doctorate in organic chemistry in 1936 from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT).

While teaching there during 1950s, he developed an absorbent and transparent gel for eye implants.

Due to political turmoil, he was pushed out of the ICT. But he still continued his work of refining his hydrogel development at home.

"In 1961, Wichterle (a glasses wearer himself) produced the first soft contact lenses with a DIY apparatus made of a child’s erector set, a bicycle light battery, a phonograph motor, and homemade glass tubing and molds," reads the Google Doodle blog.

Wichterle also worked on several other patent throughout his life as a researcher. He was elected as the first President of the Academy of the Czech Republic following the country’s establishment in 1993, the blog added.

Other than contact lenses, he also laid the foundation for state-of-the-art medical technologies such as “smart” biomaterials, which are used to restore human connective tissues, and bio-recognizable polymers.

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