Hyaluronic acid as an internal wetting agent in model DMAA/TRIS contact lenses
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Model silicone hydrogel contact lenses, comprised of N,N-dimethylacrylamide and methacryloxypropyltris (trimethylsiloxy) silane, were fabricated and hyaluronic acid (HA) was incorporated as an internal wetting agent using a dendrimer-based method. HA and dendrimers were loaded into the silicone hydrogels and cross-linked using 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide chemistry. The presence and location of HA in the hydrogels was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy, respectively. The effects of the presence of HA on the silicone hydrogels on hydrophilicity, swelling behavior, transparency, and lysozyme sorption and denaturation were evaluated. The results showed that HA increased the hydrophilicity and the equilibrium water content of the hydrogels without affecting transparency. HA also significantly decreased the amount of lysozyme sorption (p < 0.002). HA had no effect on lysozyme denaturation in hydrogels containing 0% and 1.7% methacrylic acid (MAA) (by weight) but when the amount of MAA was increased to 5%, the level of lysozyme denaturation was significantly lower compared to control materials. These results suggest that HA has great potential to be used as a wetting agent in silicone hydrogel contact lenses to improve wettability and to decrease lysozyme sorption and denaturation.
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