Drahoslav Lím : biography
Drahoslav Lím (born September 30, 1925 in Czechoslovakia; died August 22, 2003 in San Diego, California)US Social Security Death Index, reported at http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi was a Czech chemist. He invented polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate, the synthetic material used for contact lenses (hydrogel).
Lím workedChain transfer of polymer in radical polymerization. Lim, D.; Wichterle, O. Journal of Polymer Science (1958), 29 579-84Intra-cameral lenses made of hydrocolloidal acrylates. Dreifus M.; Wichterle, O.; Lim D. Ceskoslovenska oftalmologie (1960), 16 154-9.Tolerance of orbital implants made of hydrocolloid acrylate. Dreifus M.; Herben T.; Lim D.; Wichterle, O. Sbornik lekar sky (1960), 62 212-8.On the problem of contact lenses. Wichterle, O.; Lim D.; Dreifus M. Ceskoslovenska oftalmologie (1961), 17 70-5. 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 NatureWichterle O, Lim, D. "Hydrophilic gels for biological use". Nature. 1960; 185:117–118. and was the subject of US patents.Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim, "Process for producing shaped articles from three-dimensional hydrophilic high polymers", US Patent 2,976,576, March 28, 1961Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim, "Cross-linked hydrophilic polymers and articles made therefrom", US Patent 3,220,960, November 30, 1965 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.
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