Chief members of the Research and Development team for Alcon eye care, Erich Bauman, OD and Dr John Pruitt, were recently recognised for their invention and development of Water Gradient Technology and their outstanding contribution to the contact lens industry at the 2021 BCLA Awards ceremony for their invention and development of Water Gradient Technology, featured notably in Alcon DAILIES® TOTAL1® contact lenses.
More than 100 scientists, engineers, and clinicians across two continents worked closely together over the course of 10 years to solve dozens of complex technical challenges. This work resulted in more than 100 patents during the development of Water Gradient technology, which is nearing its 10-year anniversary. Erich Bauman led the overall DAILIES® TOTAL1® program that co-developed the chemistries and novel manufacturing process while Dr John Pruitt led the team that developed the separate core and surface chemistries of Water Gradient technology.
Water Gradient technology has been a significant evolution in comfort through an ultra-soft, high water surface gel combined with the oxygen transmission advantages of a silicone rich core material.
Erich Bauman, Senior Director of Vision Care Development, Alcon, said, “We continually strive to foster a culture of innovation within our R&D community. Perhaps most rewarding for our team is knowing that an enormous number of contact lens wearers around the world wake up each day and insert a new pair of DAILIES® TOTAL1® lenses; and their lives are better for it. I am both honoured and humbled to receive this award on behalf of the team who worked so passionately to bring this innovation to the eye care market.”
Dr John Pruitt, Senior Director of Vision Care Research, Alcon, said, “I am extremely honoured to be recognized by the BCLA for our Water Gradient technology that is still so important today. I am proud of our chemistry and engineering teams that were able to optimize the surface and core materials separately to achieve both extremely high oxygen transmission and an ultra-soft, high water surface. These characteristics often work against each other, and the team overcame many difficult obstacles to achieve what was once considered unachievable.”