The development of biomaterials for contact lens applications: effects of wear modality on materials design

B.J. Tighe*, A. Mann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


The successful design of polymers for contact lens applications depends on the ability to provide a balance of properties appropriate to the ocular environment. Principal relevant aspects of the anterior eye are the tear film, eyelid and cornea, which govern the requirements for surface properties, modulus and oxygen permeability, respectively. Permeability requirements and the developing view of the needs of the cornea, in terms of oxygen consumption and the particular roles of fluorine and silicon in the design of silicone hydrogels, which have proved to be the most successful family of materials for this demanding application, are discussed. The contact lens field is complicated by the fact that contact lenses are used in a range of wear modalities, the extremes of which can conveniently be classified as lenses that are disposed of at the end of a single period of daily wear and those used for 30. days of successive day-and-night periods, frequently referred to as extended or continuous wear. As silicone hydrogels developed, in the decade following their launch there has been a progressive trend in properties taking both modulus and water content closer to those of conventional hydrogels. This is particularly evident in the family of daily disposable contact lenses that have appeared since 2008.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomaterials and regenerative medicine in ophthalmology
EditorsTraian V. Chirila, Damien G. Harkin
Place of PublicationLondon (UK)
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-08-100184-4
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-100147-9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameWoodhead Publishing Series in Biomaterials
PublisherWoodhead Publishing


  • contact lenses
  • modulus
  • oxygen permeability
  • silicone hydrogels
  • wear modality


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