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You are here: Anti-Aging Skin Treatments > Wrinkle Fillers >

Dermal Filler: Polymethylmethacrylate (ArteFill, ArteColl)

Generic name: Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres suspended in 3.5% denatured bovine collagen with 0.3% lidocaine

Brand(s): ArteFill, ArteColl

Maker / Website: ArteFill / ArteColl is produced by Artes Medical (

Cost: about $700 per syringe, but can vary widely

Allergy test required: Required because of the bovine collagen component of the injection

Durability: permanent

Function / Purpose:
Treatment of medium-to-deep wrinkles, folds and furrows, particularly nasolabial folds; also may be suitable for pitted scars, lip augmentation, etc.

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is nonbiodegradable, relatively nontoxic and chemically inert dermal filler used under the brand of ArteFill (a.k.a. ArteColl). Is consists of PMMA microspheres suspended in bovine collagen solution. Due to the presence of bovine collagen, it requires an allergy test. The results of PMMA injections are permanent.

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic polymer with a long history of use in medical implants. It has been used in bone cement, dentures, pacemaker covers and so forth. It is considered nonbiodegradable, relatively nontoxic and chemically inert. As a dermal filler, it is being used under the brand of ArteFill (a.k.a. ArteColl), which, in essence, is PMMA microspheres (microscopic particles of spherical shape about 30-40 microns in diameter) suspended in bovine collagen solution. The anesthetic lidocaine 0.3% is included in the injection to reduce discomfort.

The role of collagen solution in ArteFill is to provide a smoother suspension and possibly aid in skin matrix integration. After the injection of ArteFill, the bovine collagen is degraded over about 2-3 month. At the same time, PMMA gets encased in the patient's own collagen produced in response to foreign material and bovine collagen. This results in good integration of the filler and produces highly durable results with low risk of filler migration. There have been reports of cases when the injections area became hardened or bumpy, possibly due to excessive formation of the scar tissue. Whether this was primarily to the reaction of PMMA or bovine collagen remains unclear. This complication may respond to a steroid injection.

ArteFill (ArteColl) has been in cosmetic use since late eighties - longer than most cosmetic synthetic filler on the market. The incidence of long-term side-effects appears to have been relatively low. ArteFill requires prior allergy test due to bovine collagen component.

Related Links
Synthetic polymer-based fillers
Index of fillers
Forum discussions of fillers
eMedicine: Dermal Fillers

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