Incorporating N-acetylcysteine and tricalcium phosphate into epoxy resin-based sealer improved its biocompatibility and adhesiveness to radicular dentine

Dent Mater. 2019 Dec;35(12):1750-1756. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2019 Oct 11.


Objective: This in vitro study was designed to evaluate the biocompatibility, adhesiveness, and antimicrobial activity of epoxy resin-based sealer associated with N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) or beta-tricalcium phosphate nanoparticles (β-TCP) as an experimental retro-filling material.

Methods: Cytotoxicity was assessed using 2,3-Bis-(Methoxy-4-Nitro-5-Sulphophenyl)-2H-Tetrazolium-5-Carboxanilide (XTT) and Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assays after exposing human periodontal ligament fibroblasts to extracts of the materials for 1, 3, or 7 days. For the adhesive resistance test, root canals (48 single-root teeth) were instrumented with Reciproc #40 files (VDW GmbH, Germany) and obturated. After 7 days, the apices were sectioned and a retrograde cavity prepared and filled with the experimental materials (Mineral trioxide aggregate, Epoxy sealer, Epoxy sealer+NAC, and Epoxy sealer+β-TCP). For the push-out test, one 2-mm thick slice was obtained from the apical third of each specimen. Antimicrobial activity was performed using agar diffusion method. Biofilms were grown in microplates and exposed to the extracts of retro-filled materials, followed by analysis of growth inhibition on agar plates.

Results: Epoxy sealer in association with β-TCP or NAC showed better bond strength while Mineral trioxide aggregate allowed for the lowest adhesion. Mineral trioxide aggregate, Epoxy sealer+β-TCP, and Epoxy sealer+NAC showed low cytotoxicity. Epoxy sealer was the most cytotoxic. In antimicrobial activity assays, all materials had no effect on Candida albicans. Addition of NAC improved the antimicrobial property of Epoxy sealer against Enterococcus faecalis compared to unmodified Epoxy sealer (P<0.05).

Significance: Incorporating β-TCP or NAC with Epoxy sealer could improve the adhesiveness and biocompatibility for better use in endodontic therapy.

Keywords: Adhesion; Biocompatibility; Endodontics; N-Acetylcysteine; Radicular dentine; Retro-Filling material; Tricalcium phosphate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine
  • Adhesiveness
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Dental Bonding*
  • Dental Pulp Cavity
  • Dentin
  • Epoxy Resins
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Root Canal Filling Materials*


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Epoxy Resins
  • Root Canal Filling Materials
  • tricalcium phosphate
  • Acetylcysteine