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Developing more comfortable contact lenses

Project Advisor
Professor Minglin Ma -

Project Collaborators
Filipe Espinheira

Project Area/Concentration

Project Description
Many different types of biomaterials have been used for contact lenses, but there are still challenges. For example, silicone elastomer is highly permeable to oxygen and therefore provides minimal interference to corneal respiration. However, its hydrophobic surface must be treated to allow comfortable wear. Hydrogel lenses (e.g. HEMA based hydrogels) have a high water content and are more comfortable. However, for hydrogel-based lenses, oxygen permeability is low, much lower than the silicone lenses. Another type of contact lenses are the silicone-hydrogel hybrid ones (such as AerGel, a co-blocked silicone-hydrogel with water content of over 40%, Bausch & Lomb), but their manufacturing becomes more complex and expensive. Furthermore, the silicone hydrogels still have lower water content than traditional hydrogel materials. In this project, we aim to develop a new class of contact lenses that have both high oxygen permeability and high water content or wear comfort.

Possible Courses

Course number Course title
BEE 3400 Design and Analysis of Biomaterials
BEE 3500 Heat and Mass Transfer in Biological Engineering
BEE 6400 Advanced Topics in Biomaterials
BME 2210 Biomaterials: Foundations and Application in Medicine
CHEME 6400 Polymeric Materials
CHEME 7130 Chemical Kinetics and Transport
MSE 4610 Biomedical Materials and Their Applications
MSE 6010 Chemistry of Materials