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Objectives: Contact lens-acquired bacterial infections are a serious problem. Of the reported cases, inadequate cleaning of the lens case was the most common cause of lens contamination. Organoselenium has been shown to inhibit bacterial attachment to different polymer materials. This study evaluates the ability of an organoselenium monomer, incorporated into the polymer of a polypropylene contact lens case coupon, to block the formation of biofilms in a lens case.

Methods: The bacteria tested were Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and Serratia marcescens. For this study, the bacteria were allowed to grow overnight, in trypticase soy broth media, in the presence of the selenium-containing polymer or the same polymer without organoselenium. The material was studied by both colony-forming unit determination and by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Results: The results showed that the organoselenium polymer versus the control polymer resulted in the following effect on biofilm formation: (1) a reduction in P. aeruginosa of 7.3 logs (100%); (2) a reduction in S. aureus of 7.3 logs (100%); (3) a reduction in S. maltophilia of 7.5 logs (100%); and (4) a reduction in S. marcescens reduction of 3.3 logs (99.9%). To test the stability of the organoselenium polypropylene contact lens coupon, the coupon was soaked in PBS for eight weeks at room temperature. It was found that when these soaked coupons were tested against S. aureus, complete inhibition (8.1 logs) was obtained. Because organoselenium cannot leach from the polymer, this would imply that the organoselenium polypropylene contact lens case coupon would be inhibitory toward bacterial biofilm for the life of the case.

Conclusion: The organoselenium polypropylene contact lens case coupon shows the ability to inhibit biofilm formation. The use of organoselenium copolymer should play an important role in protecting against contact lens case-acquired infection.

(C) 2017 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.