Eye See You
Sianna Lee, Shelly Tiet
David Thompson Secondary
Floor Location : M 108 N
Today, over 125 million people wear disposable contacts. Thus, creating large amounts of plastic waste, which get washed out into the ocean or end up in landfills. Currently, there are about 100 million tons of plastic waste in the ocean that is killing over 100 million marine animals every year. The intent of this prototype is to recycle used disposable contact lenses into a bandage that would be suitable for eczema and sensitive skin. Despite the contact lenses’ small size, they greatly contribute to the collapsing ecosystems. With the lenses being made of silicone hydrogels, it is perfect to protect a wound because the material’s level of oxygen permeability allows wounds to have a sufficient amount of air flow.
The contacts that were being used for this bandage were dehydrated on a hotplate, then pulverized into pHEMA (polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate) powder, which is a polymer that develops a hydrogel while in water. Afterwards, the filler, which is gelatine, was poured on top of a layer of pHEMA powder that was spread evenly on a weigh boat. Creating the bandage was a success, however, improvements could have made the product better. For example, the contact lenses could have been triturated into a finer powder. Several changes were made to the original design. These changes came from unforeseen complications that surfaced as we developed the product. Since no time was leftover, a quick survey was conducted about this product in place of having actual people evaluate this product. The final bandage can still be developed further to better its design and capability.