By Martin Burns
The year in which contact lenses are cleaned and kept bacteria-free could be set to take a step forward following the granting of a new patent.
According to life sciences firm Quick-Med Technologies, its application to the US Patent and Trademark Office for its non-leaching NIMBUS antimicrobial technology has been successful.
The company revealed that the new patent covers the method of post-treating NIMBUS contact lens and other NIMBUS surfaces to enhance antimicrobial efficacy and increase biofilm resistance.
This works By introducing a citrate solution to a surface to which a NIMBUS polymer has been non-leachably bound, helping to improve th bactericidal performance significantly.
Susan Leander, senior scientist at Quick-Med and lead inventor on the patent, said that citrate solution, which is commonly used as an antioxidant for foods, serves as an "amplifier" to the effective action of the quaternary ammonium polymer in NIMBUS-treated surfaces.
"The resulting boost in sustained antimicrobial performance can be important in a wide range of product applications," the expert added.
Quick-Med says the enhancement is particularly useful in achieving antimicrobial protection in delicate materials such as soft contact lenses, which have gel-like physical properties and a high percentage of water content.
Dr Jerry Olderman, Quick-Med's vice president of Research & Development, said that the contact lens is one of many new product opportunities made possible by the application of the technology.
"It expands Quick-Med's NIMBUS technology horizon to include products that significantly delay or prevent biofilm formation during the product's life cycle including in-dwelling catheters as well as respiratory, urinary and blood transmission devices," he added.
The company will now conduct further studies before ultimately rolling out the new technology in a bid to help improve the elimination of bacteria and provide contact lens users with a new and effective method of cleaning the products.
by Adrian Galbreth