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Toxicol In Vitro. 2005 Feb;19(1):145-54.

Tooth slice organ culture and established cell line culture models for cytotoxicity assessment of dental materials.

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Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore.


The aim was to compare the use of different cell-material contact test methods with two different biological systems (cell line and tooth slice cultures) for cytotoxicity assessment of dental materials. Cytotoxicity of composites polymerized with two halogen-based and two light-emitting diode (LED) light-curing units (LCUs) served as the basis for comparison. Disk shaped specimens (7 x 2 mm) were fabricated using the four light sources. Composites were tested using L-929 cell line using direct/indirect/extract tests in accordance to standard protocols. Cytotoxicity was assessed using neutral red uptake. Tooth slice organ cultures were also employed to test the dental materials using direct/indirect test methods. Histomorphometric cell counting of intact odontoblasts and pulp fibroblasts and the use of tetrazolium salt 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays were applied for cytotoxicity evaluation. Discrepancy in result presentation was observed in the different tests used with L-929. Sensitivity levels of the L-929 tests ranked as follows: extract test < direct contact test < indirect contact test. Tooth slice tests confirmed that L-929 direct contact test proved to be the most reliable test among the three. In conclusion, this study highlights the risk involved when relying on a single test method for cytotoxicity assessment. It would be advisable to test different culture models and then proceed using more clinically relevant biological system that stimulate the in vivo situation for confirmation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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