Effect of heparin surface modification in reducing silicone oil adherence to various intraocular lenses

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2001 Oct;27(10):1662-9. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(01)00891-4.


Purpose: To evaluate surface properties of various intraocular lenses (IOLs), including a newly fabricated heparin-surface-modified (HSM) silicone IOL, with special reference to their efficiency in reducing potential silicone oil adherence to the IOL optics.

Setting: Center for Research on Ocular Therapeutics and Biodevices, Department of Ophthalmology, Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

Methods: Five groups of rigid and foldable IOLs were analyzed in an in vitro test for the percentage of silicone oil adherence: a single-piece foldable hydrophilic-acrylic IOL (n = 9); a single-piece rigid poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) IOL with HSM coating of the lens optic (n = 9); a 3-piece foldable silicone optic IOL with HSM coating of the optic (n = 10); a single-piece standard rigid PMMA IOL (n = 7); and a standard 3-piece foldable silicone optic IOL (n = 9). After the IOLs were immersed in water and then in silicone oil, gross photographs taken. Image analysis was performed to evaluate the percentage of silicone oil coverage of the anterior and posterior surfaces of each IOL optic.

Results: The mean silicone oil coverage of the hydrophilic-acrylic IOLs was 5.6% +/- 2.5% (SD); of the HSM PMMA IOLs, 6.2% +/- 4.3%; of the HSM silicone optic IOLs, 6.7% +/- 3.2%; and of the standard PMMA IOLs, 20.3% +/- 13.3%. The mean silicone oil coverage was greatest on the standard silicone optic IOLs, 98.2% +/- 3.1%.

Conclusions: Intraocular lenses with a hydrophilic optic have less tendency toward adherence to silicone oil than more hydrophobic designs. A foldable silicone IOL with heparin surface modification can significantly reduce potential silicone oil adherence, comparable to the level achievable with the rigid HSM PMMA designs. Two new foldable IOL styles, the HSM silicone IOL and IOLs in the general class of hydrophilic-acrylic, were highly efficacious in reducing silicone oil adherence. There is now a real choice of foldable lenses for patients with actual or potential vitreoretinal diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins
  • Adhesiveness*
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / metabolism*
  • Heparin*
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Silicone Oils / metabolism*
  • Surface Properties


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Silicone Oils
  • Heparin
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate