Broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of melimine covalently bound to contact lenses

Debarun Dutta*, Nerida Cole, Naresh Kumar, Mark D.P. Willcox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To develop a stable antimicrobial contact lens, which is effective against the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) panel microorganisms, Acanthamoeba castellanii and drug resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. METHODS. Melimine was covalently incorporated into etafilcon A lenses. The amount of peptide present on the lens surface was quantified using amino acid analysis. After coating, the heat stability (121°C), lens surface hydrophobicity (by captive bubble), and in vitro cytotoxicity to mouse L929 cells of the lenses were investigated. Antimicrobial activity against the micro-organisms was evaluated by viable plate count and fluorescence microscopy, measuring the proportion of cell death compared with control lenses with no melimine. RESULTS. The most effective concentration was determined to be 152 ± 44 lg lens-1 melimine on the lens surface. After coating, lenses were relatively hydrophilic and were nontoxic to mammalian cells. The activity remained high after autoclaving (e.g., 3.1, 3.9, 1.2, and 1.0 log inhibition against P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, A. castellanii, and Fusarium solani, respectively). Fluorescence microscopy confirmed significantly reduced (P < 0.001) adhesion of viable bacteria to melimine contact lenses. Viable count confirmed that lenses were active against all the bacteria and fungi from the ISO panel, Acanthamoeba and gave at least 2 log inhibition against all the multidrug resistant S. aureus and P. aeruginosa strains. CONCLUSIONS. Melimine may offer excellent potential for development as a broad spectrum antimicrobial coating for contact lenses, showing activity against all the bacterial and fungal ISO panel microorganisms, Acanthamoeba, and antibiotic resistant strains of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License


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