Drahoslav Lím

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Drahoslav Lím
Born (1925-09-30)September 30, 1925
Zeměchy, Czechoslovakia
Died August 22, 2003(2003-08-22) (aged 77)
San Diego, California, USA
Nationality Czech
Alma mater University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague

Drahoslav Lím (born September 30, 1925 in Czechoslovakia; died August 22, 2003 in San Diego, California)[1] was a Czech chemist. He invented polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate, the synthetic material used for soft contact lenses (hydrogel).

Lím worked[2][3][4][5] as a member of the team of Otto Wichterle (the inventor of soft contact lenses) and in 1955, he came up with poly(hydroethyl-acrylate), the material later used for the lenses. This work was later published in Nature[6] and was the subject of US patents.[7][8] During 1970 to 1974 he worked in Palo Alto, California, improving contact lenses materials and technology. When he returned to Czechoslovakia he was persecuted for political reasons and was not allowed to work in his specialisation. In 1979, he was allowed to emigrate to the United States. There Lím worked on materials for artificial kidneys and continued with research on polymers. He was both a professor at the University of California, San Diego and the de facto founder of the Revlon Materials Research Center. At the latter he led a team of scientists who researched tinting technologies for hydrogel contact lenses, materials for intraoccular lenses, and formulations for nail enamel. He was awarded over 150 patents.

Although the academic community recognises the importance of his inventions, the Czech public almost never hears his name.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ US Social Security Death Index, reported at http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi
  2. ^ Chain transfer of polymer in radical polymerization. Lim, D.; Wichterle, O. Journal of Polymer Science (1958), 29 579-84
  3. ^ Intra-cameral lenses made of hydrocolloidal acrylates. Dreifus M.; Wichterle, O.; Lim D. Ceskoslovenska oftalmologie (1960), 16 154-9.
  4. ^ Tolerance of orbital implants made of hydrocolloid acrylate. Dreifus M.; Herben T.; Lim D.; Wichterle, O. Sbornik lekar sky (1960), 62 212-8.
  5. ^ On the problem of contact lenses. Wichterle, O.; Lim D.; Dreifus M. Ceskoslovenska oftalmologie (1961), 17 70-5.
  6. ^ Wichterle O, Lim, D. "Hydrophilic gels for biological use". Nature. 1960; 185:117–118.
  7. ^ Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim, "Process for producing shaped articles from three-dimensional hydrophilic high polymers", US Patent 2,976,576, March 28, 1961
  8. ^ Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim, "Cross-linked hydrophilic polymers and articles made therefrom", US Patent 3,220,960, November 30, 1965