Imaging Approaches for Contact Lens Deposition
Deposition on contact lenses (CLs) starts quickly after their application to the ocular surface. Deposits may be composed of tear film components or other extraneous substances. These deposits have been related to various adverse conditions of the eye, leading to reduced biocompatibility between the CLs and the ocular surface. Analysis of these deposits is essential to better elucidate the relationship between these deposits and their adverse reactions so that better methods of increasing biocompatibility can be developed. Although methods such as enzymatic assays are available for quantitative analysis, they do not provide a complete picture of the deposition (e.g., lack of morphological details), and therefore, the use of imaging methods that can provide both qualitative and quantitative information about the deposits may be more preferable. Therefore, a search of the peer-reviewed literature that focused on imaging methods in the analysis of deposits on CLs was conducted. Various methods of imaging deposits in-vitro, in-vivo, or ex-vivo have been described along with the associated results. Imaging methods using fluorescence-based techniques and scanning electron microscopy appear to be the most frequently used methods. Some of the described methods not only provided morphologies but also identified the types of various deposits that were attached to the CLs. Various CL materials possessed different deposition morphologies and different quantities of the attached deposits. Further imaging studies performed in conjunction with other methods that could identify and quantify the deposits at a molecular level are recommended.