Purpose: This study was designed to measure the impact of bacterial biofilms on diffusion of an ocular therapeutic through silicone hydrogel bandage lenses in vitro.
Methods: An assay was designed to study the passage of a commonly used steroid, dexamethasone, through silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses. Diffused dexamethasone was measured using a spectrophotometer over a period of 18 hours and quantified using a standard curve. This assay was performed with control and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm-coated contact lenses comprised of lotrafilcon A and methafilcon. Biofilms were formed in brain heart infusion broth supplemented with D-glucose.
Results: The presented data validate a simple in vitro model that can be used to measure the penetration of a topical therapeutic through silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses. Using this model, we measured a reduction in dexamethasone diffusion up to 88% through S. epidermidis biofilm-coated silicone hydrogel lenses compared with control lenses.
Conclusions: The results of this in vitro study demonstrate that bacterial biofilms impede dexamethasone diffusion through silicone hydrogel contact lenses and warrant future studies regarding the clinical benefit of using ocular therapeutics in the setting of bandage contact lens use for corneal epithelial defects.