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Eye Contact Lens. 2009 Nov;35(6):320-8. doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3181becd3c.

In vitro adsorption of tear proteins to hydroxyethyl methacrylate-based contact lens materials.

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  • 1Vision Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Investigations of polymer interactions in single protein solutions is a necessary step in the elucidation of in vivo early binding events during protein deposition on hydroxyethyl methacrylate-based contact lens materials. Quantity and tenacity of binding of significant tear components to groups I and IV contact lenses was assessed. Competitive binding by these components was also examined.


Adsorption on FDA groups I and IV hydrogel lenses was monitored using I-labeled protein. Lenses were incubated in increasing concentrations of radiolabeled single species proteins in solution. For competition experiments, concentration of each radiolabeled protein was held constant and the adsorption/sorption challenged with increasing concentrations of nonlabeled proteins. Lenses were soaked in phosphate-buffered saline to determine desorption.


Group IV lenses bound large amounts of lysozyme, whereas group I lenses bound highest amounts of albumin. Albumin binding to both lens types was relatively strong and could not be competed from binding by other proteins lysozyme, lactoferrin, and mucin. Mucin at high concentrations tended to positively cooperate with the binding of lactoferrin and albumin to all lenses.


Binding of proteins to hydroxyethyl methacrylate-based hydrogel lens surfaces is affected by charge and polymer components, and perhaps manufacturing processes. Albumin binds strongly to lens surfaces, and this may play an adverse role during contact lens wear.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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