Ocular prostheses are custom-made polymeric inserts that can be placed in anophthalmic sockets for cosmetic rehabilitation. Prosthetic eye wearers have reduced tear amount, and they often experience dry eye symptoms including dryness, irritation, discomfort, and discharge. Most modern ocular prostheses are made of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), which is highly hydrophobic. Previous research has shown that improving the wettability of contact lens materials decreases its wearers discomfort by increasing lubrication. Therefore, hydrophilic modification of PMMA-based ocular prostheses might also improve patient discomfort by improving lubrication. We modified the surfaces of PMMA-based ocular prostheses using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), which is hydrophilic. To do this, we used two strategies. One was a “grafting from” method, whereby PEG was polymerized from the PMMA surface. The other was a “grafting to” method, which involved PEG being covalently bonded to an amine-functionalized PMMA surface. Assessments involving the water contact angle, ellipsometry, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicated that PEG was successfully introduced to the PMMA surfaces using both strategies. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy images revealed that neither strategy caused clinically significant alterations in the PMMA surface morphology. In vitro bacterial adhesion assessments showed that the hydrophilic modifications effectively reduced bacterial adhesion without inducing cytotoxicity. These results imply that hydrophilic surface modifications of conventional ocular prostheses may decrease patient discomfort and ocular prosthesis-related infections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry