“Click” Chemistry-Tethered Hyaluronic Acid-Based Contact Lens Coatings Improve Lens Wettability and Lower Protein Adsorption
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Improving the wettability of and reducing the protein adsorption to contact lenses may be beneficial for improving wearer comfort. Herein, we describe a simple "click" chemistry approach to surface functionalize poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA)-based contact lenses with hyaluronic acid (HA), a carbohydrate naturally contributing to the wettability of the native tear film. A two-step preparation technique consisting of laccase/TEMPO-mediated oxidation followed by covalent grafting of hydrazide-functionalized HA via simple immersion resulted in a model lens surface that is significantly more wettable, more water retentive, and less protein binding than unmodified pHEMA while maintaining the favorable transparency, refractive, and mechanical properties of a native lens. The dipping/coating method we developed to covalently tether the HA wetting agent is simple, readily scalable, and a highly efficient route for contact lens modification.
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