A team of researchers is developing a silicone hydrogel contact lens with a special coating to combat microbial keratitis minus the potential adverse ocular side effects seen in previous antimicrobial lens coatings.

First reported in Experimental Eye Research, researchers coated the lens with phomopsidione nanoparticles that inhibit keratitis causing clinical isolates. They then observed two drug release patterns: an initial slow-release phase with extended drug release and then a burst-release phase on day two. The nanoparticles showed no burst-release effect, researchers noted.

The study found three out of five test microorganisms were inhibited by the phomopsidione nanoparticle coated contact lenses, including two Gram-negative bacteria. Additionally, all test pathogens showed at least 99% growth reduction with the treatment of the contact lens model.

“The drug loaded onto the nanoparticles is sufficient to prevent the bacterial growth. In conclusion, this study provides an effective alternative to combat keratitis-causing microorganisms among contact wearers,” researchers said. 

Bin Sahadan MY, Tong WY, Tan WN, et al. Phomopsidione nanoparticles coated contact lenses reduce microbial keratitis causing pathogens. Exp Eye Res. 2018 Sep 20;178:10-14.