Ocular compatibility of hydrogel contact lenses : deposition and clinical performance
Currently over 50 million people worldwide wear contact lenses, of which over 75% wear hydrogel lenses. Significant deposition occurs in approximately 80% of hydrogel lenses and many contact lens wearers cease wearing lenses due to problems associated with deposition. The contact lens field is not alone in encountering complications associated with interactions between the body and artificial devices. The widespread use of man-made materials to replace structures in the body has emphasised the importance of studies that examine the interactions between implantation materials and body tissues. This project used carefully controlled, randomized clinical studies to study the interactive effects of contact lens materials, care systems, replacement periods and patient differences. Of principal interest was the influence of these factors on material deposition and their subsequent impact on subjective performance. A range of novel and established analytical techniques were used to examine hydrogel lenses following carefully controlled clinical studies in which clinical performance was meticulously monitored. These studies established the inter-relationship between clinical performance and deposition to be evaluated. This project showed that significant differences exist between individuals in their ability to deposit hydrogel lenses, with approximately 20% of subjects displaying significant deposition irrespective of the lens material. Additionally, materials traditionally categorised together show markedly different spoilation characteristics, which are wholly attributable to their detailed chemical structure. For the first time the in vivo deposition kinetics of both protein and lipid in charged and uncharged polymers was demonstrated. In addition the importance of care systems in the deposition process was shown, clearly demonstrating the significance of the quality rather than the quantity of deposition in influencing subjective performance.