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Uptake and Release of Polyvinyl Alcohol from Hydrogel Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Phan, Chau-Minh, PhD, MSc1*; Subbaraman, Lakshman N., PhD, BSOptom, MSc, FAAO1; Jones, Lyndon W., PhD, FCOptom, FAAO1

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001351

SIGNIFICANCE Polyvinyl alcohol is a wetting agent that could reduce the symptoms of dry eye and contact lens discomfort. Currently, only one lens type, nelfilcon A (DAILIES AquaComfort Plus), releases polyvinyl alcohol. The concept of releasing this agent from contact lenses could be applied to other lens materials.

PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to measure the release of polyvinyl alcohol from commercially available hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses using refractive index and iodine-borate methods.

METHODS Etafilcon A, omafilcon A, and nelfilcon A were soaked in phosphate-buffered saline and 0.2% trifluoroacetic acid/acetonitile for 24 hours to remove residual blister pack components. The lenses were then incubated in a 10-mg/mL solution of polyvinyl alcohol for 24 hours. After the incubation period, the lenses were placed in 2 mL of phosphate-buffered saline. At specified time intervals, t = 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours, the samples were evaluated using refractive index and an iodine-borate assay. Polyvinyl alcohol uptake was determined by extracting the lenses with methanol for 24 hours.

RESULTS There were no differences in the uptake of polyvinyl alcohol between lens types (P > .05). The release of this wetting agent for all lens types followed a burst-plateau profile after the first 30 minutes (P > .05). Nelfilcon A had a slightly higher release of polyvinyl alcohol (P < .05) than did etafilcon A but was similar to omafilcon A (P > .05).

CONCLUSIONS The results suggest that the contact lenses tested in this study have similar efficiency in delivering polyvinyl alcohol.

1Centre for Ocular Research and Education (formerly Centre for Contact Lens Research), School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada *

Submitted: June 13, 2018

Accepted: October 29, 2018

Funding/Support: None of the authors have reported funding/support.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: Over the past 3 years, LWJ and his research group (Centre for Ocular Research and Education) have received research support or lectureship honoraria from the following companies: Advanced Vision Research, Alcon, Allergan, Contamac, CooperVision, Essilor, GL Chemtec, Inflamax Research, J&J Vision, Menicon, Nature's Way, Novartis, Ocular Dynamics, Oculus, Safilens, Santen, Shire, TearLab, and TearScience. He is also a consultant and/or serves on an advisory board for Alcon, CooperVision, J&J Vision, Novartis, and Ophtecs. Neither himself nor any of his family members own shares in any optometric company. None of the other authors have reported a financial conflict of interest.

Author Contributions: Conceptualization: C-MP, LNS, LWJ; Data Curation: C-MP; Formal Analysis: C-MP; Funding Acquisition: LNS, LWJ; Investigation: C-MP; Methodology: C-MP; Project Administration: C-MP; Resources: C-MP; Software: C-MP; Supervision: C-MP, LNS, LWJ; Validation: C-MP, LWJ; Visualization: C-MP; Writing – Original Draft: C-MP; Writing – Review & Editing: C-MP, LNS, LWJ.

© 2019 American Academy of Optometry