Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) is a derivative of cellulose with both water solubility and organic solubility. It is used as a topical ophthalmic protectant and lubricant.
Lacrisert, manufactured by Aton Pharma, is a formulation of HPC used for artificial tears. It is used to treat medical conditions characterized by insufficient tear production such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca), recurrent corneal erosions, decreased corneal sensitivity, exposure and neuroparalytic keratitis. HPC is also used as a lubricant for artificial eyes. As a food additive, HPC is used as a thickener, a low level binder and as an emulsion stabiliser with E number E463. In pharmaceuticals it is used as a disintegrant, and a binder, in tablets.
HPC is used as a sieving matrix for DNA separations by capillary and microchip electrophoresis.
HPC is the main ingredient in Cellugel, which is used in book conservation. Cellugel is described as “A safe, penetrating consolidant for leather book covers affected by red rot” and is produced by Preservation Solutions