Interaction between silicone oil and silicone intraocular lenses: an in vitro study

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers. 1997 Sep;28(9):776-9.


The objective of this study was to examine the interaction between silicone oil and silicone intraocular lenses (IOLs) in vitro. Six types of silicone IOLs were placed in silicone oil (1000 or 5000 centistokes) for 1 minute, 7 days, and 420 days. Slit-lamp examination, target photographs, and opacity measurements were performed. Optical measurements were repeated in a balanced salt solution after removal from the oil. The IOL surface was examined through scanning electron microscopy, and surface irregularities underwent x-ray spectroscopy. No changes were observed while the IOLs were stored in silicone oil, but in the balanced salt solution, the IOLs were observed to have a layer of silicone oil droplets that reduced the optical quality. Scanning electron microscopy showed that oil-coated foreign body particles were simulating IOL surface defects. After ultrasonic cleaning with ethanol, the oil layer was broken, and no damage to the IOL surface could be detected. The length of exposure to silicone oil, the type of oil, and the type of IOL were found to have no bearing on the interaction between silicone oil and silicone IOLs. Although no surface damage is incurred by silicone IOLs from silicone oil, the reduction in optical quality and fundus view due to remnant oil droplets seems to indicate that complex cases requiring silicone oil injection may contraindicate IOLs made of silicone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular* / standards
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Silicone Elastomers*
  • Silicone Oils / pharmacology*
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission
  • Surface Properties


  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Silicone Oils