Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

Racial Variations in Interfacial Behavior of Lipids Extracted From Worn Soft Contact Lenses



To explore interfacial behaviors and effects of temperature and dilatation on dynamic properties of multilayered human tear lipids extracted from silicone hydrogel (SiH) lenses worn by asymptomatic Asian and white subjects.


Interfacial properties of lipids extracted from Focus N&D lenses worn by 14 subjects continuously for 1 month were studied. The lipids were deposited on an air bubble immersed in a model tear electrolyte (MTE) solution to form 100 ± 20-nm-thick films. Surface pressure was recorded during slow expansion/contraction cycles to evaluate compressibility and hysteresis of lipid films. Films were also subjected to fast step-strain dilatations at temperatures of 22 to 45°C for their viscoelastic property assessment.


Isocycles for Asian and white lipids were similar at low surface pressures but had distinctly different compressibility and hysteresis at dynamic pressures exceeding 30 mN/m. Rheological parameters of reconstituted lipids were also dissimilar between Asian and white. The elastic modulus E∞ for white lipids was 1.5 times higher than that for Asian lipids, whereas relaxation time (t) was on average 1.3 times higher for Asian. No significant changes were observed in rheological properties of both Asian and white lipids when temperature increased from 22.0 to 36.5°C. However, for white lipids, E∞ reduced considerably at temperatures higher than 42.0°C, whereas t remained unchanged. For Asian lipids, both E∞ and t started to decline as temperature increased to 38°C and higher.


Higher elastic modulus of white lipids and elasticity threshold at certain deformations indicate stronger structure and intermolecular interactions as compared with more viscous Asian lipids. The differences in interfacial behaviors between Asian and white lipids may be associated with the differences in their chemical compositions.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View