Ocular infection due to microbial contamination is one of the main risks associated with the wearing of contact lens, which demands novel straightforward strategies to find reliable solutions. This contribution reports the preparation, characterization and biological evaluation of soft contact lenses (CL) releasing nitric oxide (NO), as an unconventional antibacterial agent, under daylight exposure. A tailored NO photodonor (NOPD) was embedded into commercial CL leading to doped CL with an excellent optical transparency (transmittance = 100%) at 450 nm. The NOPD results homogeneously distributed in the CL matrix where it fully preserves the photobehavior exhibited in solution. In particular, NO release from the CL and its di usion in the supernatant physiological solution is observed upon visible light illumination. The presence of a blue fluorescent reporting functionality into the molecular skeleton of the NOPD, which activates concomitantly to the NO photorelease, allows the easy monitoring of the NO delivery in real-time and confirms that the doped CL work under daylight exposure. The NO photoreleasing CL are well-tolerated in both dark and light conditions by corneal cells while being able to induce good growth inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus under visible light irradiation. These results may pave the way to further engineering of the CL with NOPD as innovative ocular devices activatable by sunlight.
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