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The purpose of this study was to investigate the uptake and the release of antibiotics from a newly synthesized drug delivery hydrogel soft contact lens (SCL) using an ion ligand mechanism. The antibiotics used were Gatifloxacin (GFLX) and Moxifloxacin (MFLX). The uptake amount and the sustained-release kinetics of antibiotics were investigated in vitro, and were also compared with newly synthesized SCLs, etafilcon A and polymacon. The antibiotic concentrations in the cornea, aqueous humor, and crystalline lens, and the effect against bacterial proliferation were investigated in vivo using rabbit subjects. Additionally the drug release efficacy of the new SCL was compared with that of eye drop administrations. In vitro, antibiotic uptake was increased with the weight percent (wt%) of the anionic group, and the released amount of antibiotics was highest during the initial 1 hour period, which then decreased over the next 72 hours. The released antibiotics volume of the new SCLs was significantly higher throughout 72 hours than that of the other two materials, etafilcon A and polymacon (P < 0.01). Whereas in vivo, the concentrations found in the cornea and aqueous humor were higher than those for the eye drop groups (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). Antibiotic release at those sites decreased over 72 hours. No bacterial populations were detectable in the group treated with the new SCL presoaked in antibiotics throughout the experimental periods. The new SCLs released the antibiotics over several days, and showed improved penetration into the eye, along with prevention of bacterial proliferation.


Koji Kakisu, Toru Matsunaga, Shinichiro Kobayakawa, Takao Sato, Tetsuo Tochikubo. Development and efficacy of a drug-releasing soft contact lens. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2013 Apr;54(4):2551-61

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PMID: 23462746

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