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ACS Nano. 2015 Nov 24;9(11):11490-501. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b05718. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

Nanodiamond-Gutta Percha Composite Biomaterials for Root Canal Therapy.

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Department of Bioengineering, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science , Los Angeles, California 90095, United States.
UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center , Box 957357, Los Angeles, California 90095, United States.
Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA , Los Angeles, California 90095, United States.


Root canal therapy (RCT) represents a standard of treatment that addresses infected pulp tissue in teeth and protects against future infection. RCT involves removing dental pulp comprising blood vessels and nerve tissue, decontaminating residually infected tissue through biomechanical instrumentation, and root canal obturation using a filler material to replace the space that was previously composed of dental pulp. Gutta percha (GP) is typically used as the filler material, as it is malleable, inert, and biocompatible. While filling the root canal space with GP is the standard of care for endodontic therapies, it has exhibited limitations including leakage, root canal reinfection, and poor mechanical properties. To address these challenges, clinicians have explored the use of alternative root filling materials other than GP. Among the classes of materials that are being explored as novel endodontic therapy platforms, nanodiamonds (NDs) may offer unique advantages due to their favorable properties, particularly for dental applications. These include versatile faceted surface chemistry, biocompatibility, and their role in improving mechanical properties, among others. This study developed a ND-embedded GP (NDGP) that was functionalized with amoxicillin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly used for endodontic infection. Comprehensive materials characterization confirmed improved mechanical properties of NDGP over unmodified GP. In addition, digital radiography and microcomputed tomography imaging demonstrated that obturation of root canals with NDGP could be achieved using clinically relevant techniques. Furthermore, bacterial growth inhibition assays confirmed drug functionality of NDGP functionalized with amoxicillin. This study demonstrates a promising path toward NDGP implementation in future endodontic therapy for improved treatment outcomes.


biomaterials; dentistry; drug delivery; endodontics; gutta percha; nanomedicine; root canal therapy

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