Contact lens & anterior eye : the journal of the British Contact Lens Association

Effects of aqueous polymeric surfactants on silicone-hydrogel soft- contact-lens wettability and bacterial adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

PMID 22456099


Prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa binding to soft-contact lenses (SCLs) may curtail sight-threatening microbial keratitis. Substrate surface wettability is known to modulate adhesion of P. aeruginosa. This study investigates the use of aqueous alkoxylate block co-polymer surfactants for enhanced wettability and antibacterial adhesion of SCLs under leaching conditions. Specifically, Pluronic(®) F127 (PF) and three ethylene oxide-butylene oxide (EOBO) surfactants were studied with four commercially available silicone-hydrogel contact lenses: Pure Vision™, Acuvue Advance™, Acuvue Oasys™ and O(2)Optix™. Dilute aqueous PF and EOBO surfactants impregnated all four soft-contact lenses, as demonstrated by surface-tension decline for leached surfactant. For PF surfactant, significant surface-wettability improvement upon rinsing occurred only after overnight leaching. EOBO surfactant showed a similar pattern with O(2)Optix™ lenses. EOBO-pretreated Pure Vision™ lenses, however, showed fast leaching and a significant change in surface energy towards improved wettability. Adhesion assays of P. aeruginosa displayed a small decrease in the binding rate of PAK bacteria for EOBO-pretreated Pure Vision™ lenses, but not for EOBO-pretreated O(2)Optix™ lenses. P. aeruginosa strain-PAO1 bacteria adhesion to all lenses was independent of surface wettability. Despite the ability of polymeric surfactants to lower advancing contact angles under leaching conditions, increased lens wettability is not a universal panacea for antifouling of soft-contact lenses.

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