Go to main content.

Media Release

Manufacturing process of Alcon’s AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses allows pigmentation to remain encapsulated while maintaining high oxygen transmissibility

  • New data on AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses to be presented during the 2015 Annual Conference of the British Contact Lens Association, May 29-31, in Liverpool, UK
  • The results indicate the manufacturing process involved in the manufacturing of AIR OPTIX COLORS contact lenses allows the color pigment to remain encapsulated in the contact lens
  • Additional findings confirm the pigment particles within the lenses do not reduce the oxygen transmissibility

Fort Worth, Texas, May 30, 2015  Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, announced the presentation of a materials study highlighting the manufacturing methodology used to produce AIR OPTIX®COLORS contact lenses at the 2015 Annual Conference of the British Contact Lens Association, May 29-31, in Liverpool, UK. The study showed the AIR OPTIX COLORS lenses maintain clinically beneficial high oxygen transmissibility and fully encapsulate the pigment particles within the lens.

"This study showed that a three-step manufacturing process including full polymer encapsulation of the pigment as well treatment of the entire lens with plasma not only keeps the color pigment in AIR OPTIX COLORS contact lenses intact in the contact lens but also confirms that the pigment does not significantly affect oxygen from reaching the eye," said Lead investigator Karen Sentell, Director of Early Development Analytics for Alcon R&D.

Study Details:

  • A scanning electron microscope with an XPS beam was used to analyze for the presence of iron , titanium , and copper that are unique to the pigment used in Air Optix Color contact lenses. Neither iron, titanium, nor copper were detected at the surface (top 1-10 nm) or at 100 nm. Iron, but not titanium or copper, was detected only after 500 nm depth profiling.
  • The oxygen transmissibility, Dk, through pigmented portions of the lens was within 94% of Dk in regions without pigment.

About AIR OPTIX COLORS contact lenses

Important information for AIR OPTIX COLORS (lotrafilcon B) contact lenses: For daily wear only for near/far-sightedness and to change eye color. In many markets, contact lenses are indicated, even if worn only for cosmetic reasons, are medical devices that may only be worn under the direction and supervision of an eye care professional.

Ask your eye care professional for complete wear, care, and safety information.



  1. Rao, Archana, PhD., Hart, Richard BS, Alvord, Larry, BS, Sentell, Karen PhD., Kern, Jami, MBA, PhD., Lemp, Jessie, MS., Dr.PH. High Oxygen Permeable Color Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lens with Fully Encapsulated Pigments. Poster to be presented at the Annual Meeting for The British Contact Lens Association, May 29-31, in Liverpool, UK.


About Alcon

Alcon, the global leader in eye care, provides innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people worldwide see better. Alcon’s three businesses, Surgical, Pharmaceutical and Vision Care, offer the widest spectrum of eye care products in the world. Alcon is the second largest division of the Novartis Group, with pro-forma sales of USD 10.8 billion in 2014.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Alcon has more than 25,000 employees worldwide, operations in 75 countries and products available in 180 markets.


Alcon Media Relations

Beth Bentley
Alcon Global Communications
817.615.2666 (office)
817.404-9083 (mobile)
[email protected]

Elizabeth Harness Murphy
Alcon Global Communications
817.551.8696 (office)
585.435.7379 (mobile)
[email protected]