Dehydration at the lens surface: surface energy and surfactant persistence

Sarah Carnell, Darren Campbell, Gareth Ross, Brian Tighe

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Purpose: Most published surface wettability data are based on hydrated materials and are dominated by the air-water interface. Water soluble species with hydrophobic domains (such as surfactants) interact directly with the hydrophobic domains in the lens polymer. Characterisation of relative polar and non-polar fractions of the dehydrated material provides an additional approach to surface analysis.
Method: Probe liquids (water and diiodomethane) were used to characterise polar and dispersive components of surface energies of dehydrated lenses using the method of Owens and Wendt. A range of conventional and silicone hydrogel soft lenses was studied. The polar fraction (i.e. polar/total) of surface energy was used as a basis for the study of the structural effects that influence surfactant persistence on the lens surface.
Results: When plotted against water content of the hydrated lens, polar fraction of surface energy (PFSE) values of the dehydrated lenses fell into two rectilinear bands. One of these bands covered PFSE values ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 and contained only conventional hydrogels, with two notable additions: the plasma coated silicone hydrogels lotrafilcon A and B. The second band covered PFSE values ranging from 0.04 to 0.28 and contained only silicone hydrogels. Significantly, the silicone hydrogel lenses with lowest PFSE values (p<0.15) are found to be prone to lipid deposition duringwear. Additionally, more hydrophobic surfactants were found to be more persistent on lenses with lower PFSE values.
Conclusions: Measurement of polar fraction of surface energy provides an importantmechanistic insight into surface interactions of silicone hydrogels.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventBritish Contact Lens Association - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 May 201030 May 2010


ConferenceBritish Contact Lens Association
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Abstract published on Abstracts of the 2011 BCLA Annual Clinical Conference / Contact Lens & Anterior Eye 34, Supplement 1 (2011) S32 DOI


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