Biological and Clinical Implications of Lysozyme Deposition on Soft Contact Lenses
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Within a few minutes of wear, contact lenses become rapidly coated with a variety of tear film components, including proteins, lipids, and mucins. Tears have a rich and complex composition, allowing a wide range of interactions and competitive processes, with the first event observed at the interface between a contact lens and tear fluid being protein adsorption. Protein adsorption on hydrogel contact lenses is a complex process involving a variety of factors relating to both the protein in question and the lens material. Among tear proteins, lysozyme is a major protein that has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory functions. Contact lens materials that have high ionicity and high water content have an increased affinity to accumulate lysozyme during wear, when compared with other soft lens materials, notably silicone hydrogel lenses. This review provides an overview of tear film proteins, with a specific focus on lysozyme, and examines various factors that influence protein deposition on contact lenses. In addition, the impact of lysozyme deposition on various ocular physiological responses and bacterial adhesion to lenses and the interaction of lysozyme with other tear proteins are reviewed. This comprehensive review suggests that deposition of lysozyme on contact lens materials may provide a number of beneficial effects during contact lens wear.