Br J Ophthalmol 93:1085-1088 doi:10.1136/bjo.2008.153007
  • Original Article
  • Laboratory science

Use of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose 2% for removing adherent silicone oil from silicone intraocular lenses

  1. S C Wong1,
  2. Y D Ramkissoon1,
  3. M Lopez1,
  4. K Page2,
  5. I P Parkin2,
  6. P M Sullivan1
  1. 1
    Vitreoretinal Department, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Chemistry, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr S C Wong, Vitreoretinal Department, Moorfields Eye Hospital, 162 City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK; chien.wong{at}
  • Accepted 9 February 2009
  • Published Online First 30 March 2009


Background/aims: To investigate the effect of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) on the physical interaction (contact angle) between silicone oil and a silicone intraocular lens (IOL).

Methods: In vitro experiments were performed, to determine the effect of HPMC (0.5%, 1% or 2%), with or without an additional simple mechanical manoeuvre, on the contact angle of silicone oil at the surface of both silicone and acrylic (control) IOLs. A balanced salt solution chamber was used. The study group comprised 21 silicone and nine acrylic IOLs.

Results: The median contact angle of silicone oil on silicone IOL was 99°. The addition of HPMC 2% alone did not significantly alter the contact angle. HPMC 2% combined with an additional single mechanical manoeuvre increased the contact angle to 180° (greater non-wetting), with complete separation of silicone oil from silicone IOL within 1 min. The manoeuvre alone, or in conjunction with a lower concentration of HPMC (0.5 or 1%), was ineffective in increasing the contact angle.

Conclusion: We present a novel, non-toxic technique of using hydroxypropylmethylcellulose 2% combined with a simple mechanical manoeuvre, for the removal of adherent silicone oil droplets from silicone intraocular lenses.


  • Competing interests None.

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