Contact lens and anterior eye research

Portrait of R Buckley of Vision and Eye Research Unit, Anglia Ruskin University

Professor Roger Buckley, Professor Shahina Pardhan, Dr Sheila Rae, Abigail Holland, John Ross, Lata Gautam, Professor Madhavan Rajanand, Dr George Wilson and Faheem Rahman. Collaboration between Ocular Disease and Ophthalmic Epidemiology group, Myopia and Visual Function group, Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences, Department of Life Sciences and the Department of Computing and Technology.

Current activities 

  • To investigate the optical properties of commercially available contact lens designs to inform future design developments.

  • To identify factors that influence variations in corneal aberrations and to determine their effects on visual performance.

  • To identify how the composition and structural morphology of contact lens polymers affect on-eye performance, for example lens movement and surface deposition.

  • To determine the strategies needed to avoid cross-infection in the anterior eye.

  • To determine factors influencing the prevalence of common anterior eye problems such as blepharitis, allergic eye diseases and dry eyes.

  • To investigate the natural history and progression over time of the Irido-Corneal Endothelial (ICE) Syndrome.


  • Enabling the production of custom designed contact lenses for a range of visual requirements including eyes with pathological conditions.

  • Provision of in vitro and in vivo tests to predict the performance of existing and prototype lenses and materials. This will be fed back to industry in the form of clinical trials and other studies.

  • Highlighting of important strategies for avoidance of cross-infection with prions, the agents of fatal spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, both in the use of standard clinical instruments and following transplant surgery involving ocular donor materials.

  • Provision of consultancy and advice on the efficacy of the corneal endothelium potentially compromised by disease, surgery or contact lens wear. Though the endothelium is thought to be a simple single cell layer, recent investigations have provided evidence that it may possess the ability to react very differently when compromised by, for example, different forms of infection.

  • Ocular discomfort, particularly end-of-day discomfort, displayed by some contact lens wearers requires consideration and is likely to be the major factor in cessation of contact lens wear. Our group is making exciting headway in the understanding causes of this problem.


  • EPSRC Fellowship grant for novel methods to characterise hydrogen polymers for biomedical applications and contact lenses (£67,831)

  • Bausch and Lomb (Ltd) funding for a research Professorship in Ocular Medicine occupied (£67,080)

  • Industry (Essilor) sponsored a grant for the application of a new prototype of advanced monofocal lens (£32,303)

  • Knowledge Transfer (KTP) grant from the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board (£94,000). 

  • College of Optometrists consultancy - (£37,000) 


Austin, D., Hills, B.P., (2009) Two-dimensional NMR relaxation study of the pore structure of silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Applied Magnetic Resonance, 35, 4, 581-591.
Austin, D., Kumar, R.V. (2005) Ionic Conductivity in Hydrogels for Contact Lens applications. Ionics, 11 .262-268.
Amin, S.Z., Smith, L., Luthert, P.J., Cheetham, M.E., Buckley, R.J. (2003). Minimising the risk of prion transmission by contact tonometry. Br J Ophthalmol., 87(11):1360-2.
Macalister, G.O., Buckley, R.J., (2002). The risk of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease via contact lenses and ophthalmic devices. Cont Lens Anterior Eye.; 25(3):104-36. 
Pullum, K., Buckley, R.J., (2007). Therapeutic and Ocular Surface Indications for Scleral Contact Lenses. The Ocular Surface.; 5(1):40-9.