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BMC Oral Health. 2014 Mar 29;14:27. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-14-27.

Cytotoxicity of QMix™ endodontic irrigating solution on human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Post Box 60169, Riyadh 11545, Saudi Arabia.



Debridement and disinfection of the root canal system is a crucial step in endodontic procedures. The effectiveness of irrigation relies on both the mechanical flushing action and the ability of irrigants to dissolve tissue and kill bacteria. The objective of the present study is to evaluate and compare the cytotoxicity of QMix™ root canal irrigating solution on immortalized human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hTERT-MSC-C1) and to compare it with that of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl).


Immortalized human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hTERT-MSCs) were exposed to QMix™ and NaOCl. Cell viability was assessed by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alamarBlue assays. The cell morphology was studied after two hours of exposure to QMix™ and NaOCl. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses were performed after 2- and 4-hour incubation periods. Finally, ethidium bromide/acridine orange (EB/AO) fluorescent stain was applied to the cells in the 8-chamber slides after they were incubated with the testing agents for 2 hours to detect live and dead cells. The observations were tabulated and analyzed statistically.


QMix™ exposure resulted in a significantly higher percentage of cell viability than NaOCl in the MTT and alamarBlue assays at three time points compared to the control. The SEM analysis demonstrated minimal morphological changes associated with cells that were exposed to the QMix™ solution, with little shrinkage and fragmentation of the cell wall. The live/dead analysis showed that the number of live cells after exposure to QMix™ was similar to that of the untreated control. No cell structure could be observed with the NaOCl group, indicating cell lysis.


Both the QMix™ and NaOCl solutions were toxic to human bone marrow MSCs. Each solution might have induced cell death in a different way as evidenced in the cell viability, SEM and fluorescent studies. The slower cell death induced by QMix™ might therefore be less aggressive and more acceptable to living tissues.

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