In vivo study of cell reactions on poly(methyl methacrylate) intraocular lenses with different surface properties

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1996;22 Suppl 1:825-9. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(96)80169-6.


Purpose: To evaluate the biocompatibility of three poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) intraocular lenses (IOLs) with different surface properties.

Setting: University Eye Clinic, Vienna, Austria.

Methods: Cell reactions on the surfaces of unmodified, heparin-surface-modified (HSM), and surface-passivated (SP) PMMA IOLs were documented in vivo using a Zeiss specular microscope. Risk factors for such reactions were also determined.

Results: During the first postoperative days, small round and spindle-shaped cells were found on all IOLs. Cell density was higher in eyes with increased postoperative inflammation. After several days, epithelioid and foreign-body giant cells were seen on some IOLs. Cells appeared significantly less often on the IOLs with hydrophilic surfaces (HSM) than on those with hydrophobic surfaces (unmodified, SP).

Conclusion: The significantly lower incidence of foreign-body reactions on hydrophilic than on hydrophobic IOL surfaces is consistent with the results of previous studies on hydrogel and silicone IOLs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Count
  • Endophthalmitis / etiology
  • Endophthalmitis / pathology
  • Endophthalmitis / prevention & control
  • Epithelioid Cells / pathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / etiology
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / pathology
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / prevention & control*
  • Giant Cells, Foreign-Body / pathology
  • Humans
  • Iris / pathology
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / pathology
  • Lenses, Intraocular* / adverse effects
  • Methylmethacrylates*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surface Properties


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Methylmethacrylates