Prototype for Soft Contact Lens (pHEMA)
Otto Wichterle, Inventor
pHEMA is hydrophilic – it absorbs water, meaning the material is comfortable enough to wear on the eye all day. It is also permeable, allowing oxygen to pass through to the eye. This was particularly significant because hard contact lenses did not allow the eye to “breathe”, so they were only able to be worn for short periods while the soft is able to be worn all day, with the eye remaining healthy.
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