Dental Tribune International

New antibacterial fillings may combat recurring dental caries

TEL AVIV, Israel: Dental caries is among the costliest and most widespread bacterial diseases worldwide. In a new study, researchers have developed novel dental restorative materials with potent antibacterial capabilities. According to the findings, these resin-based composites with antibacterial nano-assemblies can hinder bacterial growth and viability on dental restorations and thereby help avoid root canal therapy or tooth extractions.

“Antibiotic resistance is now one of the most pressing healthcare problems facing society, and the development of novel antimicrobial therapeutics and biomedical materials represents an urgent unmet need,” said lead researcher Dr Lihi Adler-Abramovich, a senior lecturer in the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.

“We’ve developed an enhanced material that is not only aesthetically pleasing and mechanically rigid but is also intrinsically antibacterial due to the incorporation of antibacterial nano-assemblies,” said first author Lee Schnaider, a doctoral student at the university. “Resin composite fillings that display bacterial inhibitory activity have the potential to substantially hinder the development of this widespread oral disease,” she continued.

The scientists are the first to discover the potent antibacterial activity of the self-assembling building block Fmoc-pentafluoro-L-phenylalanine. After having established the antibacterial capabilities of this building block, they developed methods for incorporating the nano-assemblies within dental composite restorative materials. They then evaluated the antibacterial capabilities of these materials and assessed their biocompatibility, mechanical strength and optical properties.

“This work is a good example of the ways in which biophysical nanoscale characteristics affect the development of an enhanced biomedical material on a much larger scale,” Schnaider said. “The minimal nature of the antibacterial building block, along with its high purity, low cost, ease of embedment within resin-based materials and biocompatibility allows for the easy scale-up of this approach toward the development of clinically available enhanced antibacterial resin composite restoratives,” Adler-Abramovich noted.

The researchers are currently evaluating the antibacterial capabilities of additional minimal self-assembling building blocks and developing methods for their incorporation into various biomedical materials, such as wound dressings and tissue scaffolds.

The study, titled “Enhanced nanoassembly-incorporated antibacterial composite materials”, was published in the 19 June 2019 issue of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

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