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HomeminewsContact Lens to Prevent Dry Eye Disease

Contact Lens to Prevent Dry Eye Disease

A team of researchers has achieved ‘proof of concept’ for a contact lens prototype, specifically designed to prevent contact lens-induced dry eye (CLIDE).

The collaborative effort from researchers at the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) in the United States said the new lens helps treat CLIDE by enabling tear flow in response to typical eye blinking.

The research is published in the journal Small.1

In the study paper, the authors said while the contact lens industry has made great strides in improving the wearing experiences, a large amount of contact lens wearers continue to experience ocular dryness or CLIDE.

CLIDE stems from the reduction in tear volume, tear film instability, and increased tear osmolarity followed by inflammation. This results in ocular discomfort and visual disturbances. Of the 140 million contact wearers worldwide, up to 50% suffer from CLIDE, TIBI said in a news release announcing the research.2

To address tear film thinning between the contact lens and the ocular surface, the team developed a contact lens with microchannels to deliver the tears from the pre-lens tear film (PrLTF) to the post-lens ocular surface using in vitro eye-blink motion.

“This in vitro experimental study provides a proof-of-concept result that tear transport from PrLTF to post-lens tear film can be enhanced by an artificial eyelid motion” using a pressure range similar to eyelid pressure, the authors said.

They said the work demonstrated the feasibility of developing microfluidic contact lenses with the potential to help prevent or minimise CLIDE and discomfort by the enhanced transport of pre-lens tears to the post-lens ocular surface.

Current treatment options for this condition include rewetting drops, gels, or lubricants, more frequent lens replacement, or changes in the lens material. Additionally, there are eyelid therapies including eyelid massages and warm compresses.

They said the work demonstrated the feasibility of developing microfluidic contact lenses with the potential to help prevent or minimise CLIDE and discomfort by the enhanced transport of pre-lens tears to the post-lens ocular surface.

Current treatment options for this condition include rewetting drops, gels, or lubricants, more frequent lens replacement, or changes in the lens material. Additionally, there are eyelid therapies including eyelid massages and warm compresses.

the new lens helps treat CLIDE by enabling tear flow in response to typical eye blinking

Innovative Techniques

By making use of a contact lens design that includes microchannels to promote tear flow mobility and flow, no external devices are required as the pressure can be applied by natural eye blinking.

The researchers used innovative, time-saving techniques to create their contact lens prototype. Their methods produced lenses that could be 30-times smaller than previous lenses, as well as high-quality, smooth microchannels, TIBI said.

“The inventive methods that our team has employed bring a potential solution for millions of people,” said Ali Khademhosseini, TIBI’s Director and CEO.

“It is the hope that we may extend our efforts to bring this solution to fruition.”

References

  1. Zhu, Y. et al., A Microfluidic Contact Lens to Address Contact Lens‐Induced Dry Eye, Small (2022). DOI: 10.1002/smll.202207017.
  2. https://terasaki.org/institute/news/pr/contact-lenses-to-treat-dry-eye-syndrome.html