Design, Fabrication, and Characterization of Nanocomposite Hydrogel Contact Lenses for Color Vision Deficiency Management

  • Ahmed Elfadil Salih

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Color vision deficiency or color blindness is an ocular disorder which prevents sufferers from distinguishing certain colors. Since no cure for this disorder exists, sufferers opt for methods to enhance their color perception. The most common of these methods is a form of tinted glasses/lenses. The main concept behind using these tinted wearables is that they block problematic colors (wavelengths) for CVD patients. Hence, upon wearing them, sufferers can differentiate between colors that were previously undistinguishable. However, several problems related to their effectiveness and toxicity were previously reported. In this thesis, gold and silver nanoparticles were incorporated within contact lens material to obtain nanocomposite contact lenses targeted for CVD application. Nanoparticles' surface plasmon resonance is an optical property which allows them to absorb light at specific wavelengths depending on their morphology. Spherical gold and silver nanoparticles with distinct sizes were mixed with the hydrogel (contact lens) material, and their optical and material properties were measured. The transmission and morphology of the nanoparticles were characterized prior to mixing them with the contact lens material. Furthermore, the refractive index of the nanoparticles' medium was varied, and the effect on the nanoparticles' transmission spectra was recorded. After incorporating the nanoparticles into the hydrogel, the transmission of the resulting nanocomposite was measured, and the distribution of the nanoparticles within the lens was analyzed. The optical/material properties of the nanocomposite lens, like water retention and contact angle, were measured to assess the effect of adding the nanoparticles to the lenses. Finally, the developed nanocomposite lenses were evaluated against commercial and researchbased products used by CVD patients. In fact, the properties of some nanocomposites, like the 40 nm gold nanocomposite and 60 nm silver nanocomposite, showed that they can be used as CVD management wearables. However, properties, such as their cytotoxicity and oxygen permeability, are yet to be assessed; these lenses can then be used in clinical trials.
Date of AwardDec 2020
Original languageAmerican English


  • Color vision deficiency
  • Color blindness
  • Nanoparticles
  • Contact lenses
  • Smart wearables
  • Enchroma
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Nanocomposites.

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