The development of an antimicrobial contact lens – from the laboratory to the clinic

Mark D.P. Willcox*, R. Chen, P. Kalaiselvan, M. Yasir, R. Rasul, N. Kumar, D. Dutta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Contact lens wear is generally safe and provides excellent vision. However, contact lens wear is often associated with the risk of developing ocular surface infection and inflammation, and in severe cases, the infection can result in loss of vision. Antimicrobial peptide-coated contact lenses have been made to help reduce the incidence of infection and inflammation. This paper reviews the research pro-gress from conception, through the laboratory and preclinical tests to the latest information on clinical testing of an antimicrobial contact lens. We provide insights into the pathways followed and pitfalls that have been encountered. The journey has not always been linear or smooth, but has resulted in some of the first published clinical testing of antimicrobial peptide-coated contact lenses in humans. We hope this may help lead to the development and commercialisation of antimicrobial contact lenses in the fu-ture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Protein and Peptide Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research performed on melimine has been supported by the following government grants Australian Research Council grants DP0663368, LE0882855, LP110100475, LP110200635, LP150100752, DP160101664, National Health and Medical Research Council grants APP1076206 and APP1118667, as well as grants from Johnson and Johnson Vision Care and CooperVision.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Clinical trial
  • Contact lens
  • Keratitis
  • MeL4
  • Melamine


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