Anti-infective photodynamic biomaterials for the prevention of intraocular lens-associated infectious endophthalmitis

Carole Parsons, Colin P. McCoy, Sean P. Gorman, David S. Jones, Steven Bell, Clare Brady, Seana McGlinchey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial attachment onto intraocular lenses (IOLs) during cataract extraction and IOL implantation is a prominent aetiological factor in the pathogenesis of infectious endophthalmitis. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT) have shown that photosensitizers are effective treatments for cancer, and in the photoinactivation of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, in the presence of light. To date, no method of localizing the photocytotoxic effect of a photosensitizer at a biomaterial surface has been demonstrated. Here we show a method for concentrating this effect at a material surface to prevent bacterial colonization by attaching a porphyrin photosensitizer at, or near to, that surface, and demonstrate the principle using IOL biomaterials. Anionic hydrogel copolymers were shown to permanently bind a cationic porphyrin through electrostatic interactions as a thin surface layer. The mechanical and thermal properties of the materials showed that the porphyrin acts as a surface cross-linking agent, and renders surfaces more hydrophilic. Importantly, Staphylococcus epidermidis adherence was reduced by up to 99.0 ± 0.42% relative to the control in intense light conditions and 91.7± 5.99% in the dark. The ability to concentrate the photocytotoxic effect at a surface, together with a significant dark effect, provides a platform for a range of light-activated anti-infective biomaterial technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Composites


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