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J Dent. 2013 Oct;41(10):892-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.07.011. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

An in vitro study of alginate oligomer therapies on oral biofilms.

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Wound Biology Group, Tissue Engineering and Reparative Dentistry, Cardiff University School of Dentistry, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XY, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Dent. 2013 Dec;41(12):1307-8.



The in vitro effect of a novel, oligosaccharide nanomedicine OligoG against oral pathogen-related biofilms, both alone and in the presence of the conventional anti-bacterial agent triclosan, was evaluated.


The effect of OligoG±triclosan was assessed against established Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis biofilms by bacterial counts and image analysis using LIVE/DEAD(®) staining and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The effect of triclosan and OligoG surface pre-treatments on bacterial attachment to titanium and polymethylmethacrylate was also studied.


OligoG potentiated the antimicrobial effect of triclosan, particularly when used in combination at 0.3% against S. mutans grown in artificial saliva. OligoG was less effective against established P. gingivalis biofilms. However, attachment of P. gingivalis, to titanium in particular, was significantly reduced after surface pre-treatment with OligoG and triclosan at 0.01% when compared to controls. Light microscopy and AFM showed that OligoG was biocidal to P. gingivalis, but not S. mutans.


OligoG and triclosan when used in combination produced an enhanced antimicrobial effect against two important oral pathogens and reduced bacterial attachment to dental materials such as titanium, even at reduced triclosan concentrations. Whilst the use of triclosan against oral bacteria has been widely documented, its synergistic use with OligoG described here, has not previously been reported. The use of lower concentrations of triclosan, if used in combination therapy with OligoG, could have environmental benefits.


The potentiation of antimicrobial agents by naturally occurring oligomers such as OligoG may represent a novel, safe adjunct to conventional oral hygiene and periodontal therapy. The ability of OligoG to inhibit the growth and impair bacterial adherence highlights its potential in the management of peri-implantitis.


Antimicrobial; OligoG; Porphyromonas gingivalis; Streptococcus mutans; Triclosan

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