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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5131764, 6 pages
Research Article

Influence of Tear Protein Deposition on the Oxygen Permeability of Soft Contact Lenses

Department of Optometry, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul 01811, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Mijung Park

Received 1 September 2016; Revised 19 December 2016; Accepted 29 December 2016; Published 9 February 2017

Academic Editor: Antonio Queiros

Copyright © 2017 Se Eun Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To investigate the effect of tear protein deposition on the change in oxygen permeability (Dk) of soft contact lenses (SCL). Methods. Three hydrogel lenses (polymacon, nelfilcon A, and etafilcon A) and two silicon hydrogel lenses (lotrafilcon A and balafilcon A) were investigated. Etafilcon A lenses were incubated in artificial tear solution for 1, 6, 12, and 48 h, whereas the other SCL were incubated for 1, 3, 7, and 14 days. Oxygen permeability was measured using the polarographic method, and lenses were stacked in four layers to correct the boundary effect. Results. The Dk of all investigated SCL was decreased by the protein deposition. Silicone hydrogel lenses showed a smaller deposition of artificial tear proteins than conventional hydrogel lenses. However, their Dk was reduced twofold than those of 3 conventional hydrogel lenses when compared at the same level of protein deposition. Despite a large amount of total deposited protein in etafilcon A lenses, their Dk was more stable than other SCL. Conclusions. From the results, it was revealed that the Dk of SCL is different from the value provided by manufacturers because of the tear protein deposition on surface and/or in pore of SCL; however, the degree of Dk change in SCL was not simply correlated with the amount of tear protein deposition. Thus, it is considered that the correlation between tear protein deposition and properties of lens materials affects Dk change.