Objective: Antimicrobial oligomers synthesized from ciprofloxacin (CF) and metronidazole (MN) were investigated for their potential use in dental adhesives.
Methods: Susceptibility of the cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans UA159 to CF, MN, and CF/MN combination was evaluated. Hydrolytic stability and drug release from the oligomers was studied in buffer and simulated human salivary esterase conditions. Cytotoxicity of films with 15wt% drug oligomers co-polymerized with commercial monomers were assessed using human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs). In-house adhesives were prepared and characterized for viscosity. Polymerized films were analysed for gel content and water swelling. Interfacial fracture toughness (KIC) of composites bonded to dentin by either a 2 or 3-step etch-and-rinse approach using the in-house formulated adhesives was measured.
Results: The respective minimum inhibitory concentration for CF and MN against S. mutans was 0.7 and 2400μg/mL, with the combination having an additive effect (0.35μg/mL CF with 1200μg/mL MN). Antibiotics were released upon hydrolysis of the oligomers. Films containing the drug oligomers were not cytotoxic against HGFs. Replacing 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate with the drug oligomers increased the viscosity of the experimental adhesives, reduced gel content, and decreased swelling of films in water. Antimicrobial adhesives demonstrated bonding to dentin with interfacial KIC values comparable to the in-house control in the 2-step application, and with slightly lower KIC values in the 3-step approach.
Significance: The antimicrobial oligomers can be incorporated into dental adhesive systems using formulations that show comparable fracture toughness to commercial materials, and may provide a means to deliver local antimicrobial drug release at the marginal interface.
Keywords: Esterase; Interfacial fracture toughness; Methacrylate; Resin composites; Secondary caries; Streptococcus mutans.
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