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Keywords:

  • photocatalysis;
  • titanium dioxide;
  • biofilm inactivation;
  • Streptococcus mutans;
  • metabolic activity assay

Abstract

Biofilms are the most prevalent mode of microbial life in nature and are 10–1000 times more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic bacteria. Persistent biofilm growth associated at the margin of a dental restoration often leads to secondary caries, which remains a challenge in restorative dentistry. In this work, we present the first in vitro evaluation of on-demand photocatalytic inactivation of biofilm on a novel dental adhesive containing TiO2 nanoparticles. Streptococcus mutans biofilm was cultured on this photocatalytic surface for 16 h before photocatalytic treatment with ultraviolet-A (UV-A) light. UV-A doses ranging from 3 to 43 J/cm2 were applied to the surface and the resulting viability of biofilms was evaluated with a metabolic activity assay incorporating phenol red that provided a quantitative measure of the reduction in viability due to the photocatalytic treatments. We show that an UV-A irradiation dose of 8.4 J/cm2 leads to one order of magnitude reduction in the number of biofilm bacteria on the surface of the dental adhesives while as much as 5–6 orders of magnitude reduction in the corresponding number can be achieved with a dose of 43 J/cm2. This material maintains its functional properties as an adhesive in restorative dentistry while offering the possibility of a novel dental procedure in the treatment or prevention of bacterial infections via on-demand UV-A irradiation. Similar materials could be developed for the treatment of additional indications such as peri-implantits. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 102B: 62–67, 2014.