Albumin adsorption to contact lens materials: A review
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During contact lens wear, tear film components such as lipids, mucins and proteins tend to deposit on and within the lens material and may cause discomfort, reduced vision and inflammatory reactions. The tear film protein that has attracted most interest when studying contact lens deposition is the small (14 kDa), positively charged protein lysozyme. Albumin, which is a much larger protein (66 kDa) with an overall net negative charge is also of interest, and shows very different adsorption patterns to lysozyme. The concentration of albumin in the tear film is relatively low compared to the concentration in blood serum, but this value increases markedly under various conditions, including when the eye is closed, during contact lens wear and in various dry eye states. Gaining an understanding of the manner in which albumin deposits on biomaterials is of importance for contact lens wear, as well as for other medical applications where HEMA-based materials are used for implants, artificial blood vessels or drug delivery devices. This review paper summarizes the impact of individual material compositions, water content, hydrophobicity and electrostatic attraction on the adsorption behavior of the protein albumin.
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