Reduced bacterial adhesion to heparin-surface-modified intraocular lenses

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1993 Nov;19(6):755-9. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(13)80345-8.


Bacterial adherence to intraocular lenses (IOLs) could be the cause of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery and lens implantation. There are previous reports that heparin bound to the surface of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) IOLs reduces cell adhesion. In this study, the in vitro adherence of Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to regular PMMA IOLs and to heparin-surface-modified (HSM) PMMA IOLs was investigated. The three bacterial strains attached in significantly lower numbers to HSM-PMMA IOLs than to PMMA IOLs (P < .01). Heparin in solution also inhibited attachment of Staphylococcus epidermidis to regular PMMA IOLs. Heparin may reduce adherence by placing a highly hydrated layer between the bacteria and the IOL surface. Therefore, the use of HSM-PMMA IOLs could diminish the incidence of endophthalmitis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Endophthalmitis / prevention & control
  • Heparin*
  • Lenses, Intraocular* / adverse effects
  • Methylmethacrylate
  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / ultrastructure
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / ultrastructure
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / physiology*
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / ultrastructure


  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Methylmethacrylate
  • Heparin