A contact lens is a medical device widely used as an alternative to spectacles in order to correct refractive vision problems. The evolution of polymeric biomaterials has heralded a continuous development in the materials used to produce contact lenses and maximize patient comfort and limit adverse events. Microbial keratitis (MK) is a relatively rare but potentially devastating condition associated with contact lens use, particularly with the extended wear of hydrogel lenses. It is the principal complication related to contact lens wear and the large population at risk make it a public health concern. Bacterial binding to the contact lens material is a precursor to the development of MK and is influenced by properties of the material and the bacteria. In order for bacteria to infiltrate the cornea there must be some degree of corneal damage, usually caused by trauma or hypoxia. The most recent materials available aim to allow the continuous wear of lenses while limiting corneal hypoxia, thus helping to prevent the development of MK. Limitations to the treatment of MK require that novel approaches may be necessary in order to limit bacterial adhesion to contact lens materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering