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F4H5 - A Novel Substance for the Removal of Silicone Oil from Intraocular Lenses
  1. Theodor Stappler1,*,
  2. Rachel Williams2,
  3. David Wong1
  1. 1 Royal Liverpool University Hospital, United Kingdom;
  2. 2 University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to: Theodor Stappler, St Paul's Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool, L7 8XP, United Kingdom; theodorstappler{at}


Purpose: Adherent silicone oil on intraocular lenses (IOLs) following retinal detachment surgery induces large and irregular refractive errors, multiple images and gives rise to glare, distorted and often poor vision. Its removal remains challenging often requiring mechanical wiping or explantation. F4H5 is a new semifluorinated alkane into which silicone oil is readily soluble. We aim to establish the effectiveness of F4H5 in removing silicone oil from three different types of IOL in vitro.

Method: Silicone lenses (PHARMACIA TECNIS ZM900), hydrophobic acrylic lenses (ALCON MA60) and PMMA lenses (OCULARVISION PMMA) were firstly immersed in phosphate buffered saline, secondly in silicone oil, then in F4H5 for 10 min and lastly vigorously agitated in F4H5 for 1 minute. They were weighed at each stage using scales accurate to 0.0001g to measure the weight of the adherent oil. Dynamic contact angle analysis was used to assess their surface properties.

Results: Immersion in F4H5 alone removed 96.1%(±1.23) by weight of silicone oil from the hydrophobic acrylic lenses, 91.4%(±1.58) from the silicone and 95.6%(±1.44) from the PMMA IOLs. Immersion combined with 1 minute of agitation increased the removal to 98.8%(±0.46) from the acrylic IOLs, to 93.7%(±0.48) from the silicone IOLs and to 100% (within ±0.0001g) from every PMMA IOL. After treatment with F4H5 all IOL were optically clear. Dynamic contact angle hysteresis curves remained permanently altered. All measurements were highly reproducible.

Conclusion: F4H5 was highly effective at removing the bulk of the silicone oil from all three groups of IOL. The dynamic contact angle measurements suggested that their surface properties were permanently modified.

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