Biocompatibility of antimicrobial melimine lenses: Rabbit and human studies

Debarun Dutta*, Jerome Ozkan, Mark D.P. Willcox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Covalent immobilization of antimicrobial peptide melimine onto contact lenses can produce broad-spectrum antimicrobial lenses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of melimine-coated contact lenses in an animal model and human clinical trial. METHODS: Melimine was covalently attached onto the surface of contact lenses via EDC (1-ethyl-3-[3- dimethylaminopropyl] carbodiimide hydrochloride) coupling. A rabbit model of daily contralateral wear of lenses for 22 days was conducted to assess the lens safety. A prospective, randomized, double-masked, one-day human clinical trial was used to evaluate subjective responses and ocular physiology during contralateral wear of melimine-coated (test) and uncoated (control) lenses. Delayed reactions were monitored during follow-up visits after 1 and 4 weeks. Ex vivo retention of antimicrobial activity of worn lenses was assessed by reduction in numbers of viable Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. RESULTS: Melimine-coated lenses produced no ocular signs or symptoms that would indicate cytotoxicity during the lens wear of rabbits. No histological changes were found in rabbit corneas. During the human trial, no differences were observed in wettability, surface deposition, lens-fitting centration, movement, tightness, and corneal coverage between test and control lenses (p > 0.05). There were no significant differences in bulbar, limbal, or palpebral redness or conjunctival staining (p > 0.05). Mean corneal (extent, depth, and type) staining was higher for test lenses compared with that for control lenses (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in subjective responses for lens comfort, dryness, and awareness (p > 0.05). No delayed reactions were associated with the test lenses. Worn test lenses retained more than 1.5 log inhibition against both bacterial types. CONCLUSIONS: Melimine-coated contact lenses were worn safely by humans. However, they were associated with higher corneal staining. The melimine-coated lenses retained high antibacterial activity after wear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-581
Number of pages12
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • antimicrobial activity
  • biocompatibility
  • contact lens
  • melimine
  • peptide


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