Reliability of Blotting Techniques to Assess Contact Lens Water Content

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To determine the reliability of wet and modified dry blotting techniques used in the gravimetric method to assess contact lens (CL) water content (WC), the accuracy of both techniques in comparison with the nominal WC, and also their agreement.


We evaluated hydrated and dry CL mass values and WC using the gravimetric method in 440 daily disposable CLs. Samples assessed corresponded to Dailies Total 1, Dailies AquaComfort Plus, 1-Day Acuvue TruEye, and Biotrue ONEday. Back vertex power ranged from +3.00 diopters (D) to −6.00 D. Within-subject coefficient of variation (CVw) and intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated. Bland-Altman analysis was also performed.


The modified dry blotting technique yielded significantly (P≤0.0001) higher hydrated CL mass values. The wet blotting technique provided significantly (P≤0.04) better consistency than the modified dry one. Values of CVw for wet and modified dry blotting techniques ranged from 1.2% to 2.1% and from 3.7% to 5.4%, respectively. As for dry CL mass values, CVw values were not significantly different (P≥0.05) between wet (range: 1.1%–1.9%) and dry (range: 1.0%–5.1%) blotting techniques, except for Dailies AquaComfort Plus (P=0.03). Bland-Altman analysis showed poor agreement between the techniques. The wet blotting technique yielded WC values close (around 1%) to nominal ones, in contrast to modified dry blotting technique (≥2.5%).


The wet blotting technique is not only more reliable than the modified dry one when obtaining hydrated CL mass but also provides more accurate nominal WC measurements. Agreement between the techniques was poor.

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