Unbound monomers do diffuse through the dentin barrier

Dent Mater. 2017 Jun;33(6):743-751. doi: 10.1016/j.dental.2017.04.007. Epub 2017 Apr 29.


Objectives: Assessing the role of dentinal fluid proteins in trans-dentinal diffusion of free monomers in vitro.

Methods: An artificial pulp chamber (APC) topped human dentin disks was used. A simplified two-step etch-and-rinse adhesive was formulated with 2-hydroethyl-methacrylate (HEMA), Bisphenol-A-diglycidyl-methacrylate (BisGMA), using Camphorquinone/tertiary amine as initiators. Two extraction media were used: buffered saline (Control), buffered saline with 1% bovine serum albumin (BSA). Samples were acid-etched, rinsed, air dried. Simplified primer was used, adhesive applied then light cured with a LED curing. Monomer diffusion was assessed by reverse phase HPLC.

Results: Quantifiable amounts of HEMA were detected in both extraction media while BisGMA was present in quantifiable amounts in BSA medium only. Diffused monomers concentrations were significantly higher for both monomers in BSA extraction medium.

Significance: Albumin is sometimes referred to as taxi protein for its ability to bind and transport hydrophobic ligands. From our results, we hypothesized that albumin can also transport unbound monomers released from dental adhesive through the dentin barrier. However, dentinal fluid proteins like albumin could have significant effect on monomer diffusion through dentin to the dental pulp transporting highly hydrophobic molecules like BisGMA and enhancing diffusion of more hydrophilic ones like HEMA. These results demonstrate a new possible mechanism for cytotoxicity of resin monomers.

Keywords: Albumin; Biocompatibility; Cytotoxicity; Dental adhesives; Dentin; Monomers; Pulp.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Etching, Dental
  • Albumins / physiology*
  • Bisphenol A-Glycidyl Methacrylate*
  • Dental Bonding
  • Dental Cements*
  • Dentin / metabolism*
  • Dentin-Bonding Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Methacrylates
  • Resin Cements / pharmacokinetics*


  • Albumins
  • Dental Cements
  • Dentin-Bonding Agents
  • Methacrylates
  • Resin Cements
  • Bisphenol A-Glycidyl Methacrylate