Plasmonic Contact Lenses Based on Silver Nanoparticles for Blue Light Protection


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Constant exposure to blue light emanating from screens, lamps, digital devices, or other artificial sources at night can suppress melatonin secretion, potentially compromising both sleep quality and overall health. Daytime exposure to elevated levels of blue light can also lead to permanent damage to the eyes. Here, we have developed blue light protective plasmonic contact lenses (PCLs) to mitigate blue light exposure. Crafted from poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA) and infused with silver nanoparticles, these contact lenses serve as a protective barrier to filter blue light. Leveraging the plasmonic properties of silver nanoparticles, the lenses effectively filtered out the undesirable blue light (400-510 nm), demonstrating substantial protection (22-71%) while maintaining high transparency (80-96%) for the desirable light (511-780 nm). The maximum protection level reaches a peak of 79% at 455 nm, aligned with the emission peak for the blue light sourced from LEDs in consumer displays. The presence of silver nanoparticles was found to have an insignificant impact on the water content of the developed contact lenses. The lenses maintained high water retention levels within the range of 50-70 wt %, comparable to commercial contact lenses. The optical performance of the developed lenses remains unaffected in both artificial tears and contact lens storage solution over a month with no detected leakage of the nanoparticles. Additionally, the MTT assay confirmed that the lenses were biocompatible and noncytotoxic, maintaining cell viability at over 85% after 24 h of incubation. These lenses could be a potential solution to protect against the most intense wavelengths emitted by consumer displays and offer a remedy to counteract the deleterious effects of prolonged blue light exposure.
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contact lenses,biomaterials,blue light filtering,silver nanoparticles,pHEMA
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