Next Generation Water Permeable Hydrogel Contact Lenses

Objective

  • To embed aquaporin, a water permeable membrane protein,into contact lenses
  • Study water permeation across the contact
  • Change polymer composition for improved lens casting and ease of embedding nanomaterials

Impact

  • Improve the water permeation across the contact lens thereby keeping the lens from drying and extending the lens’ life
  • Allow for incorporation of nanomaterials and nanosensors into the hydrogel composition creating a “smart lens”

Key Milestones

  • Fabricate Aquaporin embedded soft contact lens and study the enhanced water permeation ability
  • Optimize the water permeation with respect to the amount of protein incorporation
  • Determine clarity of lenses using visibility studies
  • Change the polymer composition for enhanced casting ability
  • Determine economic and commercial viability