The effects of hyaluronic acid incorporated as a wetting agent on lysozyme denaturation in model contact lens materials
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Conventional and silicone hydrogels as models for contact lenses were prepared to determine the effect of the presence of hyaluronic acid on lysozyme sorption and denaturation. Hyaluronic acid was loaded into poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)/TRIS--methacryloxypropyltris (trimethylsiloxy silane) hydrogels, which served as models for conventional and silicone hydrogel contact lens materials. The hyaluronic acid was cross-linked using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide in the presence of dendrimers. Active lysozyme was quantified using a Micrococcus lysodeikticus assay while total lysozyme was determined using 125-I radiolabeled protein. To examine the location of hyaluronic acid in the gels, 6-aminofluorescein labeled hyaluronic acid was incorporated into the gels using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide chemistry and the gels were examined using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Hyaluronic acid incorporation significantly reduced lysozyme sorption in poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (p < 0.00001) and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)/TRIS--methacryloxypropyltris (trimethylsiloxy silane) (p < 0.001) hydrogels, with the modified materials sorbing only 20% and 16% that of the control, respectively. More importantly, hyaluronic acid also decreased lysozyme denaturation in poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (p < 0.005) and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)/TRIS--methacryloxypropyltris (trimethylsiloxy silane) (p < 0.02) hydrogels. The confocal laser scanning microscopy results showed that the hyaluronic acid distribution was dependent on both the material type and the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid. This study demonstrates that hyaluronic acid incorporated as a wetting agent has the potential to reduce lysozyme sorption and denaturation in contact lens applications. The distribution of hyaluronic acid within hydrogels appears to affect denaturation, with more surface mobile, lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid being more effective in preventing denaturation.
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