Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 571-584
terahertz radiation, terahertz systems, hydrogel contact lens dehydration, water content, lens care solutions
The use of terahertz-based techniques has grown very fast since they are capable of performing evaluations at molecular level, being very suitable for the analysis of biological samples and biomaterials such as those for contact lenses. These biomaterials are continuously evolving to enhance the lens wearer’s comfort by improving their hydration state and surface wettability. Therefore, this study examines a novel terahertz system for the assessment of the temporary in vitro dehydration of hydrogel contact lenses, which provides a new index to assess their state of hydration. Several conventional and silicone hydrogel contact lenses and lens care solutions were analysed. Traditional methods such as the gravimetric determination of water content and the measurement of the static contact angle were also carried out for the validation of the developed system. The dehydration rate measurements of contact lenses obtained with the proposed system correlated with the values provided by traditional methods. As a whole, conventional hydrogel contact lenses exhibited the lowest values for dehydration rate. The tests conducted on various solutions showed a correlation between the wetting action of the solution and the dehydration rate of the contact lens material.