PURPOSE: To investigate the interaction of a novel low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative containing hydrophobic groups with soft contact lenses and its effect on lens hydrophilicity compared with a conventional form of hyaluronic acid.
METHODS: This investigation studied the uptake of fluorescently-labelled hyaluronic acid and a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative to four types of contact lenses using fluorescent microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Further, the four lens types were used to compare efficacy in improving hydrophilicity, as well as maintenance of contact angle measurements, in commercially available multipurpose solutions that contained either hyaluronic acid, the low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative, or an alternative wetting agent.
RESULTS: The low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative was found to sorb more readily to silicone hydrogel lenses and exhibit a greater accumulation over time than conventional hyaluronic acid. Multipurpose solutions containing the low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative showed an increase in lens hydrophilicity through decreases in contact angle measurements when compared with those obtained from lenses treated with multipurpose solutions containing conventional hyaluronic acid or alternative wetting agents. This increase in lens hydrophilicity associated with the low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative was also maintained over multiple cycles in phosphate buffered saline, while alternative solutions with conventional hyaluronic acid did not.
CONCLUSION: Overall, lens treatment using a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid derivative-based solution lead to improved in vitro lens hydrophilicity.
Keywords: Contact lens dryness Hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic acid derivative Lens hydrophilicity Lens wettability