Wöhlk is partner of the research project “SuperContact

March 15, 2018 Posted by Wöhlk

Wöhlk Contactlinsen GmbH is developing and testing new polymer coatings for use in contact lenses together with partners of the cooperation project “SuperContact”. As well as Wöhlk, the Institute for Materials and Surface Technology of the Kiel University of Applied Sciences and Lübeck’s nandatec GmbH are also members of the research partnership.
“Our long-term goal is to further increase the wearing comfort of our contact lenses by using functional coatings”, says Wöhlk managing director Lothar Haase. “Even in difficult environmental conditions or for sensitive eyes and of course, with the same high optical quality.”
To achieve this, the surfaces of suitable materials are coated with a function layer made from polymers. The claims made of these coatings are high: they shouldn’t just offer a high level of transparency, but also be flexible, breathable, biocompatible and allergen-free. They also need to have water-binding properties in combination with an anti-adhesion effect to prevent unwanted tear film residues.
The additional function layer should be applied to support materials which themselves have only a few of the named advantages or lose them as wearing time increases.
For Wöhlk, materials which are used for fixed shape contact lenses are a particular focus. “Fixed shape lenses are optically of higher value and more reliable over long periods of time than lenses made from hydrogel”, says Lothar Haase. “However, they also offer less comfort when wearing. with a functional coating, this could change.” For this to happen, the researchers must succeed in producing very thin and soft layers which can be well cleaned and cared for without an early loss in quality.
The polymer coatings are developed at Kiel University of Applied Sciences. At Wöhlk, they are then subjected to extensive practical tests – first in their own lab and, if successful, later also under real-life conditions in the eye. Even if this cooperation doesn’t produce a new product in the near future, Wöhlk still sees the project as a success, even now: “of course, we benefit from cooperative and interdisciplinary research as well as from close contact with
new partners who work at the highest scientific level”, says Lothar Haase. The ”SuperContact” project is supported by the economy regional scheme using the funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and regional resources.

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