Silicone oil adhesion to intraocular lenses: An experimental study comparing various biomaterials

D. J. Apple*, R. T. Isaacs, D. G. Kent, L. M. Martinez, S. Kim, S. G. Thomas, S. Basti, D. Barker, Q. Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Purpose: To perform an in vitro experimental study comparing the degree of adherence of silicone oil to various rigid and foldable intraocular lens (IOL) designs and to the human lens capsule. Setting: Center for Research on Ocular Therapeutics and Biodevices. Methods: Seven IOL styles comprising various biomaterials were studied: fluorine-treated (Fluorlens(TM)), heparin- surface-modified (HSM(TM)), hydrogel, Memory-Lens(TM), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), soft acrylic, and silicone lenses; the human crystalline lens was also studied. Each lens was immersed in silicone oil for 12 hours, then photographed, studied by scanning electron microscopy (except the crystalline lens), and subjected to computer-generated image analysis to determine the silicone oil coverage. Results: Silicone oil coverage of dry silicone lenses was 100% and of lenses immersed in normal saline, 82.5%. The least coverage was on the heparin-surface-modified lens (mean score 9.4%). Coverage of the other four lenses ranged from approximately 15.1% to 33.7%. Mean coverage of the human lens capsule was 10.9%. Conclusion: Although a silicone IOL shows maximal adherence to silicone oil, other lens biomaterials are not immune to this complication. Silicone oil coverage was related to the dispersive energy component of the surface charge of the IOL biomaterial. Low dispersive energy materials had less silicone oil coverage, while those with higher dispersive energy had more oil coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-544
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cataract and refractive surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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