Polymers have a wide range of physical and mechanical properties suited to many purposes in medicine. For example, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), which resembles bones and teeth, has been used since the 1930s for dental implants and hip replacements. Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) has been used since the early 1960s for soft contact lenses because it is transparent, flexible and stays swollen and wet. Strong yet bendable polyurethanes have been used for heart valves for decades.
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