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Nanoparticles used to break up plaque and prevent cavities.

Bacteria in biofilm often resist traditional antimicrobial treatment by "hiding" within their sticky molecular scaffold. Recent research took a more sophisticated approach, using the pH-sensitive and enzyme-like properties of iron-containing nanoparticles to catalyze the activity of hydrogen peroxide, a common natural antiseptic. The activated hydrogen peroxide produced free radicals that simultaneously degraded the biofilm matrix and killed the bacteria within, significantly reducing plaque and preventing tooth decay in an animal model.

"Even using a very low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the process was incredibly effective at disrupting the biofilm," said Hyun (Michel) Koo, professor in Penn Dental Medicine's Department of Orthodontics and divisions of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health and senior author of the study, published in Biomaterials. "Adding nanoparticles increased the efficiency of bacterial killing more than 5,000-fold."

The research team applied the nanoparticles and hydrogen peroxide topically to the teeth of rats, which can develop tooth decay as humans do when infected with the cavity-causing bacteria Streptococcus mutans. Twice-a-day, one-minute treatments for three weeks significantly reduced the onset and severity of decay compared to the control or treatment with hydrogen peroxide alone. No adverse effects to the oral soft tissues were observed.

Source: Penn Dental Medicine

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Title Annotation:HEALTH
Publication:Access
Date:Nov 1, 2016
Words:200
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