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Tear Protein Adhesion to Contact Lenses and Lens Storage Vials

Grant Winners

  • Dr. Lester Janoff – College of Optometry
  • Dr. Ed Keith – Oceanographic Center / Farquhar Center for Undergraduate Studies


  • David Loshin – College of Optometry
  • Richard Dodge – Oceanographic Center
  • Norma Goonen – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences


Over the past two years we have been investigating the adhesion of tear proteins to contact lenses. We have determined that tear proteins adhere to some types of contact lenses more than others, and that the time-course of tear protein adhesion also varies with the contact lens polymer. However, we have discovered that there is an incredible amount of variation in this process. The major tear proteins behave differently in relation to the contact lens, and there are differences between individuals in terms of the types and amounts of proteins secreted. Because of this variability, we propose a series of control experiments using simulated tear solutions containing individual tear proteins in known concentrations, to determine their adhesion to new contact lenses never worn by patients. Once we have a clearer understanding of this variability, we plan to conduct clinical studies of tear protein adhesion to new contact lens materials, and explore the impact of tear protein adhesion on clinical problems such as Contact Lens Related Papillary Conjunctivitis (also called giant papillary conjunctivitis or GPC).

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