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The MDP monomer: Where would we be without it?

The MDP monomer forms the backbone of many Kuraray Noritake Dental adhesive solutions. (Image: Kuraray Noritake Dental)

Thu. 21. April 2022


HATTERSHEIM AM MAIN, Germany: In 1976, Kuraray introduced its first adhesive monomer—the phosphate monomer Phenyl-P. Over the following years, the company’s commitment to research and development saw continued efforts to improve and refine this monomer’s molecular structure. Kuraray eventually achieved this goal by creating a molecule with greater capability to adhere to the tooth structure, low solubility and effectiveness in bonding to metal: the MDP monomer.

Developed and then patented by Kuraray in 1981, the MDP monomer remains, to this day, the leading functional monomer for reliable adhesion to various substrates including enamel and dentine. Research has repeatedly shown that products that utilise this monomer create long-term, durable and stable bonds to dental tissues, non-noble metals and zirconia ceramic. Simply put, it is hard to know where adhesive dentistry would be without the MDP monomer.

An unmatched level of purity

One of the secrets behind the success of Kuraray Noritake’s MDP monomer is its uniquely high-

The chemical structure of Kuraray Noritake Dental's MDP monomer means that it reliably adheres to various substrates, including enamel and dentine. (Image: Kuraray Noritake Dental)

quality nature. The patent that Kuraray held on the monomer has expired, opening up the market for other manufacturers to synthesise their own MDP. However, a study conducted by Yoshihara et al.1 found that, of the three adhesive MDP monomers they examined, differences in purity levels were visible and affected the intensity of nano-layering and resultant bond strength. Unsurprisingly, the bond strength displayed by Kuraray Noritake’s original and highly pure MDP was the highest measured.

“It’s very clear that the MDP monomer is one of the most effective monomers available, given its primary chemical binding potential to hydroxyapatite,” Prof. Bart Van Meerbeek, a leading authority on dental bonding agents, said in an interview with Dental Tribune International.

“Essentially, a universal adhesive that contains a high concentration of very pure MDP monomer should perform the best,” he added, when asked about universal bonding systems.

A monomer with many applications

The first Kuraray product to use the MDP monomer was PANAVIA EX resin cement. Introduced in 1983, PANAVIA EX quickly became known as a facilitator of reliable adhesion, and the PANAVIA family of adhesive resin cements, including PANAVIA V5 and PANAVIA SA Cement Universal, still employs the MDP monomer to provide first-class bonding for dental professionals worldwide.

Of course, the MDP monomer forms the backbone of a number of products in Kuraray Noritake Dental’s current CLEARFIL range of bonding systems, such as the gold standard CLEARFIL SE BOND, a mild two-step self-etching, light-cured bonding agent. CLEARFIL Universal Bond Quick, the company’s universal single-step dental bonding agent, utilises rapid bond technology. The synergistic combination of the original MDP monomer and hydrophilic amide monomers works to create a lasting bond faster and more easily than ever.

There have been more than 40 years of evidence, and the conclusion is clear: Kuraray Noritake Dental’s MDP monomer has changed dental bonding for the better.

Learn more about the MDP monomer here.

Editorial note:


  1. Yoshihara K. et al. Functional monomer impurity affects adhesive performance. Dent Mater. 2015 Dec;31(12):1493–1501.
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