Author Archives: Sean Newham

About Sean Newham

Sean Newham finished his BA in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University (specializing in Material Sciences and Metallurgy) in 2010. He now works as a software developer at Granta Design, working within the team responsible for Granta's data products.

Poly(methyl methacrylate): a biocompatible acrylic

medicalDiscovered in 1877 and patented in 1933, PMMA, or acrylic, is often used as a lighter, more shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is easy to process and make, resulting in a low cost versatile material used for everything from windows in aquariums, to protecting the audience from stray pucks in ice hockey rinks, and even in shoes.

What is interesting about PMMA, though, is its biocompatibility. Despite being formed by polymerizing Methyl Methacrylate, an irritant, and possibly a carcinogen, PMMA is extremely biocompatible, resistant to long exposure to temperatures, chemistry and cell action of human tissue. Continue reading