The effect of silicone hydrogel contact lens composition on dexamethasone release

J Biomater Appl. 2014 Aug;29(2):222-233. doi: 10.1177/0885328214521253. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


The relationship between the delivery of dexamethasone and the composition of silicone hydrogel materials was investigated. Two hydrophilic monomers (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate or N,N-dimethylacrylamide), a siloxy methacrylate-based monomer (1-(Bis(trimethylsiloxy)methylsilyl)propoxy-3-metacryloxy-2-propanol, a polysiloxane (monomethacryloxypropyl-terminated polydimethylsiloxane) and a polymerizable silicone surfactant (Silmer ACR A008-UP) were used to synthesize silicone hydrogels of variable composition. The materials properties, such as surface wettability and equilibrium water content, were highly dependent on polymer composition. All dexamethasone-loaded hydrogels showed uptake that was driven primarily by sorption to the polymer phase. Furthermore, a positive correlation between loading mass and equilibrium water content was established. The duration of drug release from the hydrogels ranged from one to greater than two weeks depending on the monomer composition and relative contribution of hydrophilic and hydrophobic monomers. Higuchi model rate constants for the release showed strong correlation with the equilibrium water content, signifying that the release is likely controlled by aqueous phase diffusion.

Keywords: Contact lens; dexamethasone; drug delivery; silicone hydrogel.