Global Insight

Optimum|Tangible Hydra-PEG™, Gaining Momentum in the Industry

Tangible Hydra-PEG™, a novel contact lens surface coating that envelopes the Optimum GP material from Contamac to create a lens surface that is extremely wettable and lubricious, is now available worldwide from several authorized specialty contact lens manufacturers. Officially launched simultaneously at the 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium and the Opti Munich Exhibition in Germany, Tangible Hydra-PEG™ has enjoyed a positive reception from patients, practitioners and specialty contact lens manufacturers. “The authorized Tangible Hydra-PEG™ labs are building quite a bit of excitement in the industry. Practitioners are actively seeking to learn more about having their custom lenses treated, to improve their patients wearing experience,” commented John Hibbs, North American National Accounts Manager for Contamac Ltd.

Currently, ten Optimum authorised laboratories are offering Tangible Hydra-PEG™ on their specialty lens designs in the United States and Canada.

AccuLens Advanced Vision Technologies Art Optical Contact Lens
Blanchard Contact Lenses GP Specialists Metro Optics
TruForm Optics X-Cel Specialty Contacts Essilor
Boston Sight


Outside the USA, Hetych Kontaktlinsen of Vienna, Austria was the first laboratory to offer this new coating, followed by installations at Corneal Lens Corporation in New Zealand, Northern Lenses in the UK and Oftalmica Iovino in Italy, with further installations planned for summer 2017.

The development of Tangible Hydra-PEG™ began over six years ago when Tangible Science founders Victor McCray, MD, Brandon Felkins and Karen Havenstrite, PhD, met at Stanford University. While investigating the causes of contact lens discomfort, they saw a need for a new technology that would help address discomfort and ease the frustration it caused for both the patient and practitioner. They set out to minimize the disruption to the ocular surface that contact lens wear causes by creating a lens surface which would remain wettable, deposit resistant and slick enough for the eyelid to glide smoothly over the lens surface. The Tangible Hydra-PEG™ formulation was developed and the partnership between Contamac Ltd and Tangible Science, which began during research and development, was built upon to include sub-licensing agreements to help bring the coating to the specialty contact lens market.

Patients and practitioners are now enjoying the benefits that Tangible Hydra-PEG™ can provide. “Tangible Hydra-PEG™ has significantly improved the scleral lens experience for many of my patients. It is the most exciting innovation in scleral lens technology in recent years,” remarked Dr. Melissa Barnett, OD FAAO FSLS, in an interview with Global Insight. The feedback from her patients has also been encouraging, “My new lenses are absolutely amazing. My vision is crystal clear with the lenses. I can now wear them all day long without needing to clean them.”

Dr. John Gelles, OD, FIAO, FCLSA, shared a case that immediately came to mind when asked about his experience with Tangible Hydra-PEG™ and how it has changed his practice. His patient J.R., had worn scleral contact lenses habitually for 2 years. She had been diagnosed with Post-Lasik Ectasia OU, with moderate Ocular Surface Disease. Treatments for keratoconjunctivitis sicca with meibomian gland dysfunction included cyclosporine 0.05%, daily warm compress, hypochlorous acid lid scrub, omega-3 supplementation and heavy (hourly) use of non-preserved artificial tears. J.R. had also undergone punctal occultation and thermal pulsation lid therapy.

J.R. complained of fluctuating vision, a cumbersome lens cleaning regimen and lens awareness that increased into discomfort by the end of the day. The OSD was being treated with full medical therapy, multiple solutions and cleaning agents were attempted, and the lenses had been ordered in several different materials to attempt to improve lens wettability, but nothing seemed to help. J.R.’s average daily wear time was reduced to as little as six hours, having to remove and reinsert the lenses after approximately four hours. J.R. even had multiple sets of lenses so that she could remove and insert a new pair without having to go through the extensive cleaning/soaking regimen.

Figure 1:
Pre Tangible Hydra-PEG™ treatment.

Note the hazy, frosted light reflex on the surface of the poorly wetting lens.
Figure 2:
Post Tangible Hydra-PEG™ treatment.

Note the clear sharp light reflex of the now fully wetting lens surface.


The addition of the Tangible Hydra-PEG™ coating changed everything. Midday lens removal and reinsertion was no longer necessary, and the cleaning/soaking regimen was reduced to a single solution. Comfort improved, vision was more stable and her wear time increased to twelve hours. J.R. was also less reliant on artificial tears, reducing their use by half.

“For my patients, Tangible Hydra-PEG™ has increased comfort, especially at end of day. It has reduced visual fluctuations, allowed for longer wear times, decreased the need for mid-day removal and reinsertion, and decreased reliance on extra cleaners,” Dr. Gelles observed. “I have found even patients without wetting issues and no comfort complaints find the Tangible Hydra-PEG™ coated lenses to be more comfortable. This is becoming a standard in my practice.”

For more Tangible Hydra-PEG™ cases and testimonials, visit the Contamac website and be sure to check back to Global Insight for updates. If you would like to submit an interesting case or testimonial, to be featured in Global Insight, email Sandra Zueco at

Photographs courtesy of Dr. Gelles. Thank you to Dr. Gelles and Dr. Barnett for contributing to this article.