Novel calcium phosphate nanocomposite with caries-inhibition in a human in situ model

Dental Materials
Volume 29, Issue 2 , Pages 231-240, February 2013



Secondary caries at the restoration margins remains the main reason for failure. Although calcium phosphate (CaP) composites are promising for caries inhibition, there has been no report of CaP composite to inhibit caries in situ. The objectives of this study were to investigate the caries-inhibition effect of nanocomposite containing nanoparticles of amorphous calcium phosphate (NACP) in a human in situ model for the first time, and to determine colony-forming units (CFU) and Ca and P ion concentrations of biofilms on the composite restorations.


NACP with a mean particle size of 116nm were synthesized via a spray-drying technique. Two composites were fabricated: NACP nanocomposite, and control composite filled with glass particles. Twenty-five volunteers wore palatal devices containing bovine enamel slabs with cavities restored with NACP or control composite. After 14 days, the adherent biofilms were collected for analyses. Transverse microradiography determined the enamel mineral profiles at the margins, and the enamel mineral loss ΔZ was measured.


NACP nanocomposite released Ca and P ions and the release significantly increased at cariogenic low pH (p<0.05). Biofilms on NACP nanocomposite contained higher Ca (p=0.007) and P ions (p=0.005) than those of control (n=25). There was no significant difference in biofilm CFU between the two composites (p>0.1). Microradiographs showed typical subsurface lesions in enamel next to control composite, but much less lesion around NACP nanocomposite. Enamel mineral loss ΔZ (mean±sd; n=25) around NACP nanocomposite was 13.8±9.3μm, much less than 33.5±19.0μm of the control (p=0.001).


Novel NACP nanocomposite substantially reduced caries formation in a human in situ model for the first time. Enamel mineral loss at the margins around NACP nanocomposite was less than half of the mineral loss around control composite. Therefore, the Ca and P ion-releasing NACP nanocomposite is promising for caries-inhibiting restorations.


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