Introduction: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of several antibiotic-loaded hydrogel scaffolds against Enterococcus faecalis, as well as their ability to stimulate proliferation and mineralization of dental pulp stem cells.
Methods: Fibrin (Fg) or chitosan-fibrin hydrogels (Ch) were prepared using 12.5 mg/mL fibrinogen and 0.4% (w/v) chitosan. Triple antibiotics, clindamycin-modified triple antibiotic paste, or double antibiotics were loaded in gels (1 mg/mL). Antibacterial effect against E. faecalis biofilm was determined by using colony-forming units (CFUs) and confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM). Cell viability and morphology were determined by loading cells into different gels at 7 and 14 days using the water-soluble tetrazolium salt-1 cell viability assay and Live & Dead cell analysis. Mineralization was detected by using alkaline phosphatase and alizarin red staining activity.
Results: Antibiotic-loaded Fg gel and Ch gel alone without antibiotics resulted in a significant reduction in CFUs compared with the positive control (P < .05). When antibiotics were loaded in Ch gel, there were no CFUs detected in any groups (P < .05). CLSM images showed dense red areas with mostly dead bacteria on the dentin surface in antibiotic-loaded Ch groups, which showed significantly less live bacteria compared with the other groups (P < .05). Triple antibiotic-loaded Fg and Ch gels resulted in a dramatic decrease in the mineralized nodule formation compared with all other gel groups (P < .05). Ch hydrogels resulted in round cell morphology up to 7 days. Ch alone or with double antibiotic paste showed more cell spreading with spindle-shaped morphology at 14 days and higher alkaline phosphatase activity compared with other antibiotic-loaded Ch groups (P > .05).
Conclusions: Double antibiotic-loaded Ch gel appears to enhance the antibacterial properties while maintaining higher cell viability, cell spreading, and mineralization activity, compared with all the other scaffolds investigated.
Keywords: Antibacterial gel; chitosan; dental pulp stem cell; fibrin; hydrogel; regenerative endodontics.
Published by Elsevier Inc.