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Title: The impact of material surface characteristics on the clinical wetting properties of silicone hydrogel contact lenses
Author: Read, Michael Leonard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 7938
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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This PhD project investigated the ramifications of air-cured and nitrogen-cured manufacturing processes during silicone hydrogel contact lens manufacture in terms of lens surface characterisation and clinical performance. A one-hour contralateral clinical study was conducted for ten subjects to compare the clinical performance of the two study lenses. The main clinical findings were reduced levels of subjective performance, reduced surface wettability and increased deposition. Contact angle analysis showed the air-cured lenses had consistently higher advancing and receding contact angle measurements, in comparison with the nitrogen-cured lens. Chemical analysis of the study lens surfaces in the dehydrated state, by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), showed no difference due to surface segregation of the silicone components. Analysis of frozen lenses limited surface segregation and showed a higher concentration of silicone polymer components and lower concentration of hydrophilic polymer components at the surface of the air-cured lens, in comparison with the nitrogen-cured lens. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging showed the nitrogen-cured lens to have a surface typical of a hydrogel material, whereas the air-cured lens had regions of apparent phase separation. In addition, atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed the air-cured lens to have a rougher surface associated with greater adherence of contaminants (often observed in materials with reduced polymer cross-linking). In conclusion, clinical assessment of the study lenses confirmed the inferior performance of the air-cured lens. Surface analysis suggested that the non-wetting regions on the air-cured lenses were associated with elevated level of silicone components, reduced polymer cross-linking and polymer phase separation.
Supervisor: Morgan, Philip ; Maldonado-Codina, Carole Sponsor: CooperVision Inc. ; Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Contact lens ; Silicone hydrogel ; contact lens manufacturing ; Phase separation ; Surface segregation ; Wettability ; Clinical study ; Environmental scanning electron microscopy ; Contact angle ; Time-of-flight Mass spectrometry ; X-ray photoelectron spe