Surface localisation of photosensitisers on intraocular lens biomaterials for prevention of infectious endophthalmitis and retinal protection

Colin P. McCoy*, Rebecca A. Craig, Seana M. McGlinchey, Louise Carson, David S. Jones, Sean P. Gorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
348 Downloads (Pure)


Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly-practiced surgical procedures in Western medicine, and, while complications are rare, the most serious is infectious postoperative endophthalmitis. Bacteria may adhere to the implanted intraocular lens (IOL) and subsequent biofilm formation can lead to a chronic, difficult to treat infection. To date, no method to reduce the incidence of infectious endophthalmitis through bacterial elimination, while retaining optical transparency, has been reported. In this study we report a method to optimise the localisation of a cationic porphyrin at the surface of suitable acrylate copolymers, which is the first point of contact with potential pathogens. The porphyrin catalytically generates short-lived singlet oxygen, in the presence of visible light, which kills adherent bacteria indiscriminately. By restricting the photosensitiser to the surface of the biomaterial, reduction in optical transparency is minimised without affecting efficacy of singlet oxygen production. Hydrogel IOL biomaterials incorporating either methacrylic acid (MAA) or methyl methacrylate (MMA) co-monomers allow tuning of the hydrophobic and anionic properties to optimise the localisation of porphyrin. Physiochemical and antimicrobial properties of the materials have been characterised, giving candidate materials with self-generating, persistent anti-infective character against Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Importantly, incorporation of porphyrin can also serve to protect the retina by filtering damaging shortwave visible light, due to the Soret absorption (?max) 430 nm). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7952-7958
Number of pages7
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Bacterial adhesion
  • Copolymer
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Hydrogel
  • Intraocular lens
  • Photosensiter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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