Syntheses of Gold and Silver Nanocomposite Contact Lenses via Chemical Volumetric Modulation of Hydrogels

Ahmed E. Salih, Mohamed Elsherif, Fahad Alam, Bader Alqattan, Ali K. Yetisen, Haider Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Integration of nanomaterials into hydrogels has emerged as a prominent research tool utilized in applications such as sensing, cancer therapy, and bone tissue engineering. Wearable contact lenses functionalized with nanoparticles have been exploited in therapeutics and targeted therapy. Here, we report the fabrication of gold and silver nanocomposite commercial contact lenses using a breathing-in/breathing-out (BI-BO) method, whereby a hydrated contact lens is shrunk in an aprotic solvent and then allowed to swell in an aqueous solution containing nanoparticles. The morphology and optical properties of the gold and silver nanoparticles were characterized through transmission electron microscopy and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. The transmission spectra of nanocomposite contact lenses indicated that the nanoparticles' loading amount within the lens depended primarily on the number of BI-BO cycles. Nanocomposites were stable for a minimum period of 1 month, and no nanoparticle leaching was observed. Wettability and water content analysis of the nanocomposites revealed that the contact lenses retained their intrinsic material properties after the fabrication process. The dispersion of the nanoparticles within the contact lens media was determined through scanning electron microscopy imaging. The nanocomposite lenses can be deployed in color filtering and antibacterial applications. In fact, the silver nanocomposite contact lens showed blue-light blocking capabilities by filtering a harmful high-energy blue-light range (400-450 nm) while transmitting the visible light beyond 470 nm, which facilitates enhanced night vision and color distinction. The ease of fabricating these nanocomposite contact lenses via the BI-BO method could enable the incorporation of nanoparticles with diverse morphologies into contact lenses for various biomedical applications.

Original languageBritish English
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • biomaterials
  • blue light
  • contact lenses
  • nanocomposites
  • nanoparticles
  • wearables


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