This thesis investigates the feasibility of loading silicone hydrogel (SiHy) contact lenses with two different hydrophobic therapeutics, latanoprost and DMPC (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine), for treatment of glaucoma and hyperemia respectively. The two methods of loading were 1) thermal loading in an aqueous medium and 2) convective loading in a solution of n-propanol. Dailies Total1® lenses prepared in this manner were tested for their loading and their release into artificial tears. Continuous release over 1-4 days at therapeutic levels is achievable from thermal loading of DMPC, convective loading of DMPC, and convective loading of latanoprost. The DMPC loading processes can be naturally integrated into standard manufacturing lines for Dailies Total1®. Both DMPC and latanoprost release at rates proportional to the amount loaded into a contact lens. Latanoprost loads into a contact lens strictly proportionally to the loading concentration and the time of loading. The convective loading step represents a significant improvement on both the time of loading (reduced from days to minutes) and the loading capacity of silicone hydrogel contact lenses. This thesis also compares the loading and release of latanoprost in the convective loading procedure using the SiHy contact lenses of Acuvue Advance® (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Jacksonville, FL) , Air Optix® (Alcon, Copenhagen, Denmark), Biofinity® (CooperVision), PureVision® (Bausch & Lomb), and Dailies Total1® (Alcon), and the polyHEMA lens, SofLens 38® (Bausch & Lomb), finding that silicone hydrogels load an order of magnitude more drug than the polyHEMA lens and release into artificial tears for an order of magnitude longer. Overall, these experiments provide a quantitative understanding of the dynamics of loading and release for both DMPC and latanoprost.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Chemical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





drug delivery, controlled release, contact lens, latanoprost, DMPC, thermal loading, convective loading, silicone hydrogel, glaucoma, dry eye