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Optom Vis Sci. 2011 Apr;88(4):483-92. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3182045967.

Impact of multipurpose solutions released from contact lenses on corneal cells.

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Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



To assess, in vitro, the effect of the release of contact lens multipurpose solutions (MPS) from two silicone hydrogel lenses on human corneal epithelial cells.


A monolayer of immortalized human corneal epithelial cells was seeded in a 24-well plate in keratinocyte serum-free medium. Lotrafilcon A (LA) and balafilcon A (BA) lenses were placed on top of the adherent cells for 8 and 24 h, after being soaked in MPS, borate-buffered (Unisol) or phosphate-buffered saline overnight. Cells were assayed for viability using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay or for α3, β1, and β4 integrin expression and caspase activation by flow cytometry.


After 8 h, LA lenses soaked in Unisol, Opti-Free Express (OFX), and ReNu MultiPlus (ReNu) showed decrease in cell viability. LA and BA soaked in Complete Moisture Plus (Complete) had similar viability at around 85% of control. After 24 h, a further decrease in viability was observed with all MPS-soaked lenses; LA soaked in OFX significantly reduced viability compared with Unisol-soaked lenses. In addition, reduced levels of integrin expression for lenses soaked in OFX and ReNu, and for BA soaked in Complete were observed. At 24 h, only LA soaked in OFX led to an increase in caspase activation.


Our results indicate an increase in cytotoxicity with borate-based MPS solutions in vitro when compared with both phosphate-buffered saline and borate-exposed lenses, suggesting that biocides and/or additives play a role in the observed cell reaction. Moreover, the mechanism of in vitro solution-induced toxicity appeared to be mediated by lens type, suggesting differences in the preferential adsorption/release profile of certain compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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