Implantation of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) intraocular lens (IOL) after cataract surgery is associated with breakdown of the blood-ocular barrier and a foreign body inflammatory response. Although the material is biocompatible, it is not inert. The history of PMMA IOL implantation has reflected mechanical, chemical, and immunological interactions between the IOL and ocular tissues. The common link in these events is instability of the blood-ocular barrier. In this lecture, I discuss the nature of these interactions and present evidence that currently investigated methods of surface modification and capsular bag IOL implantation are effective in stabilizing the blood-ocular barrier.