Quaternary ammonium methacryloxy silicate (QAMS), an organically modified silicate (ORMOSIL) functionalized with polymerizable methacrylate groups and an antimicrobial agent with a long lipophilic alkyl chain quaternary ammonium group, was synthesized through a silane-based sol-gel route. By dissolving QAMS in methyl methacrylate monomer, this ORMOSIL molecule was incorporated into an auto-polymerizing, powder/liquid orthodontic acrylic resin system, yielding QAMS-containing poly(methyl methacrylate). The QAMS-containing acrylic resin showed a predominant contact-killing effect on Streptococcus mutans (ATCC 35668) and Actinomyces naeslundii (ATCC 12104) biofilms, while inhibiting adhesion of Candida albicans (ATCC 90028) on the acrylic surface. The antimicrobial activities of QAMS-containing acrylic resin were maintained after a 3month water-aging period. Bromophenol blue assay showed minimal leaching of quaternary ammonium species when an appropriate amount of QAMS (<4wt.%) was incorporated into the acrylic resin. The results suggest that QAMS is predominantly co-polymerized with the poly(methyl methacrylate) network, and only a minuscule amount of free QAMS molecules is present within the polymer network after water-aging. Acrylic resin with persistent antimicrobial activities represents a promising method for preventing bacteria- and fungus-induced stomatitis, an infectious disease commonly associated with the wearing of removable orthodontic appliances.
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