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Innovative Development of Contact Lenses

Kobashi, Hidenaga, MD, PhD*,†; Ciolino, Joseph B., MD*

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000001725

Abstract: Contact lenses have been a common means of vision correction for more than half a century. Recent developments have raised the possibility that the next few decades will see a considerable broadening of the range of applications for contact lenses, with associated expansions in the number and type of individuals who consider them a valuable option. The novel applications of contact lenses include treatment platforms for myopic progression, biosensors, and ocular drug delivery. Orthokeratology has shown the most consistent treatment for myopia control with the least side effects. Recent work has resulted in commercialization of a device to monitor intraocular pressure for up to 24 hours, and extensive efforts are underway to develop a contact lens sensor capable of continuous glucose tear film monitoring for the management of diabetes. Other studies on drug-eluting contact lenses have focused on increasing the release duration through molecular imprinting, use of vitamin E, and increased drug binding to polymers by sandwiching a poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) layer in the lens. This review demonstrates the potential for contact lenses to provide novel opportunities for refractive management, diagnosis, and management of diseases.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and

Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Correspondence: Hidenaga Kobashi, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, 20 Staniford St, Boston, MA 02114 (e-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received June 28, 2018

Accepted July 03, 2018

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