While a clear operating field during endoscopy is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective surgery, fogging or biofouling of the lens can cause loss of visibility during these procedures. Conventional cleaning methods such as the use of an irrigation unit, anti-fogging surfactant, or particle-based porous coatings infused with lubricants have been used but proven insufficient to prevent loss of visibility. Herein, a mechanically robust anti-fogging and anti-biofouling endoscope lens was developed by forming a lubricant-infused directly engraved nano-/micro-structured surface (LIDENS) on the lens. This structure was directly engraved onto the lens via line-by-line ablation with a femtosecond laser. This directly engraved nano/microstructure provides LIDENS lenses with superior mechanical robustness compared to lenses with conventional particle-based coatings, enabling the maintenance of clear visibility throughout typical procedures. The LIDENS lens was chemically modified with a fluorinated self-assembled monolayer (F-SAM) followed by infusion of medical-grade perfluorocarbon lubricants. This provides the lens with high transparency (> 70%) along with superior and long-lasting repellency towards various liquids. This excellent liquid repellency was also shown to be maintained during blood dipping, spraying, and droplet condensation experiments. We believe that endoscopic lenses with the LIDENS offer excellent benefits to endoscopic surgery by securing clear visibility for stable operation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1C1C1006720), the Yonsei University Research Fund of 2019 (2019-22-0014), the Korea Medical Device Development Fund grant funded by the Korea government (the ministry of science and ICT) (Project Number: 2020M3E5D8103327) and (the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy) (Project Number: 20013455). This research was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A2C2010413) and Korea University Ansan Hospital Grant (2018 AA-KIST, K1810891).
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