Development of a non-destructive fluorescence technique for analysis of contact lens deposition levels

  • A.M. Horne

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The primary objective of this research has been to determine the potential of fluorescence spectroscopy as a method for analysis of surface deposition on contact lenses. In order to achieve this it was first necessary to ascertain whether fluorescence analysis would be able to detect and distinguish between protein and lipid deposited on a lens surface. In conjunction with this it was important to determine the specific excitation wavelengths at which these deposited species were detected with the greatest sensitivity. Experimental observations showed that an excitation wavelength of 360nm would detect lipid deposited on a lens surface, and an excitation wavelength of 280nm would detect and distinguish between protein and lipid deposited on a contact lens. It was also very important to determine whether clean unspoilt lenses showed significant levels of fluorescence themselves. Fluorescence spectra recorded from a variety of unworn contact lenses at excitation wavelengths of 360nm and 280nm indicated that most contact lens materials do not fluoresce themselves to any great extent.
Following these initial experiments various clinically and laboratory based studies were performed using fluorescence spectroscopy as a method of analysing contact lens deposition levels. The clinically based studies enabled analysis of contact lenses with known wear backgrounds to be rapidly and individually analysed following discontinuation of wear. Deposition levels in the early stages of lens wear were determined for various lens materials. The effect of surfactant cleaning on deposition levels was also investigated. The laboratory based studies involved comparing some of the in vivo results with those of identical lenses that had been spoilt using an in vitro method. Finally, an examination of lysosyme migration into and out of stored ionic high water contact lenses was made.
Date of Award1994
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBrian Tighe (Supervisor)


  • fluorescence spectroscopy
  • contact lens
  • protein
  • lipid
  • deposition

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