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Biomaterials. 2008 May;29(14):2259-69. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.01.030. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Extended delivery of ophthalmic drugs by silicone hydrogel contact lenses.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


We developed extended wear silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses that deliver ophthalmic drugs for an extended period of time ranging from weeks to months. Silicone hydrogels comprising of N,N-dimethylacrylamide, 3-methacryloxypropyltris(trimethylsiloxy)silane, bis-alpha,omega-(methacryloxypropyl) polydimethylsiloxane, 1-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone, and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate were prepared with varying ratios of monomers and transport of three different ophthalmic drugs, timolol, dexamethasone, and dexamethasone 21-acetate was explored. All the silicone hydrogels of 0.1 mm thickness exhibit diffusion limited transport and extended release varying 20 days up to more than three months depending on the compositions of hydrophobic and hydrophilic components of silicone hydrogels. Also, there are multiple time scales in transport of at least certain molecules, which is perhaps due to the complex microstructure of these gels. The mechanical and physical properties of lenses such as ion permeability, equilibrium water content, transparency, and surface contact angles of some of the gels are suitable for contact lens application.

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