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Int J Oral Sci. 2012 Dec;4(4):196-201. doi: 10.1038/ijos.2012.63. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

The photodynamic therapy on Streptococcus mutans biofilms using erythrosine and dental halogen curing unit.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Graduate School, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea.


The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of photodynamic therapy (PDT), using erythrosine as a photosensitizing agent and a dental halogen curing unit as a light source, on Streptococcus mutans in a biofilm phase. The S. mutans biofilms were formed in a 24-well cell culture cluster. Test groups consisted of biofilms divided into four groups: group 1: no photosensitizer or light irradiation treatment (control group); group 2: photosensitizer treatment alone; group 3: light irradiation alone; group 4: photosensitizer treatment and light irradiation. After treatments, the numbers of colony-forming unit (CFU) were counted and samples were examined by confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopy (CLSM). Only group 4 (combined treatment) resulted in significant increases in cell death, with rates of 75% and 55% after 8 h of incubation, and 74% and 42% at 12 h, for biofilms formed in brain-heart infusion (BHI) broth supplemented with 0% or 0.1% sucrose, respectively. Therefore, PDT of S. mutans biofilms using a combination of erythrosine and a dental halogen curing unit, both widely used in dental clinics, resulted in a significant increase in cell death. The PDT effects are decreased in biofilms that form in the presence of sucrose.

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