SBIR Phase II: Bio-inspired Multilayer Contact Lens to Treat Contact Lens-Induced Dry Eye Disease

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ocular Dynamics
6231 Mojave Dr
San Jose, CA 95120
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to develop a bio-inspired contact lens that closely mimics the structure of natural tear film, and prevents contact lens-induced dry eye disease (CLIDE). CLIDE is a serious problem faced by 50% of contact lens wearers. In spite of advances in materials and lens design, an estimated 10% of patients discontinue use each year due to CLIDE symptoms of dryness and discomfort. The architecture of the proposed lens minimizes tear film disruption through the use of a high water content polyethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogel that interfaces with the ocular environment. The unique multi-layered design will enable a new paradigm in contact lens design, which so far has relied on modifying copolymer blends rather than making use of discrete layers of bulk materials. The objectives of this research project are to develop and optimize scalable manufacturing processes to produce the lenses and validate their safety in animals. The results of this project will enable efficacy studies in human subjects. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be a contact lens that alleviates dryness and discomfort. The global contact lens market is $6.8 billion dollars annually, with an estimated $680 million dollars in revenue lost from patients discontinuing lens wear due to discomfort. In addition to the significant commercial potential, and ability to improve patient comfort, development of this contact lens will have broader impacts in the ophthalmology and medical device fields. Through better understanding of the tear film-lens interactions, more reliable, objective, and quantifiable metrics to predict success and segment patients will be possible. The new lens architecture also may enable a better understanding of the various metrics used in comparing the comfort of contact lenses. In addition, this device will validate the use of this unique material/design for other potential medical device applications. The novel processes and technology under development in this project for thin film hydrogel deposition has broad application both in clinical science and fundamental research.