Nonadhesive, silica nanoparticles-based brush-coated contact lens cases—Compromising between ease of cleaning and microbial transmission to contact lenses

Authors


  • How to cite this article: Qu W, Hooymans Johanna M. M., Qiu J, de-Bont N, Gelling O-J, van der Mei HC, Busscher HJ. 2013. Nonadhesive, silica nanoparticles-based brush-coated contact lens cases—Compromising between ease of cleaning and microbial transmission to contact lenses. J Biomed Mater Res Part B 2013:101B:640–647.

Abstract

Surface properties of lens cases are determinant for their cleanability and for microbial transmission from lens cases to contact lenses (CLs). PEG-polymer-brush-coatings are known to decrease microbial adhesion more than other surface-coatings. Here, we applied a robust, silica nanoparticles-based brush-coating to polypropylene cases to evaluate their ease of cleaning and probability of bacterial transmission to CLs. Adhesion forces of nine bacterial strains (Pseudomonas, Staphylococci, and Serratia) to rigid CLs, polypropylene, and silica nanoparticles-based brush-coated polypropylene were measured using atomic-force-microscopy and subjected to Weibull analyses to yield bacterial transmission probabilities. Biofilms of each strain were grown in coated and uncoated cases and rinsed with a NaCl or antimicrobial lens care solution. Residual, viable organisms were quantified. Bacterial adhesion forces of all strains were significantly, up to tenfold smaller on brush-coated than on uncoated polypropylene. This yielded, higher transmission probabilities to a CL, but mild-rinsing yielded 10–100 fold higher removal of bacteria from brush-coated than from polypropylene cases. Moreover, due to weak adhesion forces, bacteria on brush-coated cases were two-to-three fold more susceptible to an antimicrobial lens care solution than on polypropylene cases. Therewith, the design of lens case surfaces is a compromise between ease of cleaning and transmission probability to CLs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2013.

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