Safer contact lenses
Sunday, May 25 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Contact lenses coated with an antimicrobial peptide could help to lower the risk of eye infections, according to the authors of a paper recently published in Optometry and Vision Science.
“This study has shown that melimine coated contact lenses can be safely worn by humans without any major side effects,” wrote the authors from The University of South Wales, in Australia.
Melimine is not an antibiotic, but rather a cationic peptide with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. It is already part of the immune system of all multicellular organisms that have the innate ability to inhibit microbial growth.
The researchers tested disposable contact lenses to which melimine was molecularly bonded. In a first study, rabbits wore the lenses for three weeks, without any problems. In a subsequent study, humans wore them for a day. In addition to not causing any health problems, the lenses had the usual characteristics of wettability, surface deposits, lens stability, comfort, and coverage of the cornea.
“While the study is one of the earlier demonstrations, it does appear to be promising,” concluded Dr. Anthony Addams, editor-in-chief of the magazine.