The object of this proof of concept project is to modify soft contact lenses to render them more lubricated, and so make them far more comfortable to use. We propose to improve greatly the lubricity of soft contact lenses, used by over 100 million people worldwide with a market of around $7.5bn and for which acute discomfort may arise from high friction at the interfaces between the lenses and the eyelid or cornea. According to an established clinical hypothesis, ocular comfort is related to the level of friction between the anterior side of the contact lens and the inner eyelid occurring during the blinking process, and boundary lubrication is the key to providing user comfort during extensive wearing of soft contact lenses. High lens friction, for a substantial part of the user population, can limit the extent to which soft lenses may be used and can also aggravate pathologies such as dry eye syndrome. Thus soft contact lenses that are much better lubricated than those currently in use have clear economic and health-related benefits. The current project, working through 5 work-packages, will establish the feasibility, will carry out competitive analysis, explore the commercialization process and the IPR position, and seek contacts with appropriate industrial partners to further develop the commercialization of this idea.
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