Lipid Deposition on Hydrogel Contact Lenses
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The primary objective of this study was to quantify and characterise lipid deposition on soft (hydrogel) contact lenses, particularly those containing siloxane components. Studies involving a variety of <em>in vitro</em> doping and <em>in vivo</em> worn contact lenses were undertaken, in which lipid deposition was analyzed by either TLC or HPLC. Specific experiments were completed to optimize a method to extract the lipid from the lens materials, to compare the total lipid deposition on nine different hydrogel lenses and to analyze the effect that lipid deposition had on wettability. A method for extracting lipid from contact lenses using 2:1 chloroform: methanol was developed. This study also showed that siloxane-containing contact lens materials differ in the degree to which they deposit lipid, which is dependent upon their chemical composition. Small differences in lipid deposition that occur due to using variations in cleaning regimens were not identifiable through TLC, and required more sophisticated analysis using HPLC. Contact lens material wettability was found to be influenced by <em>in vitro</em> lipid deposition. Specifically, conventional hydrogels and plasma surface-treated silicone-hydrogel materials experienced enhanced wettability with lipid deposition. Reverse-phase HPLC techniques were able to quantify lipid deposits with increased sensitivity and accuracy. From the HPLC studies it was found that contact lens material, concentration of the lipid doping solution, and the composition of the lipid doping solution in <em>in vitro</em> deposition studies influenced the ultimate amount and composition of lipid deposits. <em>In vivo</em> HPLC studies showed that the final lipid deposition pattern was influenced by the interaction between the composition of the tear film and the various silicone hydrogel contact lens materials. In conclusion, HPLC analysis methods were more sensitive and quantitative than TLC. Lipid deposition was ultimately influenced by the concentration and composition of the lipid in the tear film and the contact lens material. Contact lens wettability was influenced by the presence and deposition of lipid onto the contact lens surfaces. Finally, this reverse-phase HPLC lipid analysis protocol was not the most sensitive, robust, or accurate. In the future, other methods of analysis should be explored.