Antimicrobial activity of nanoemulsion on cariogenic planktonic and biofilm organisms

Karthikeyan Ramalingam, Bennett T. Amaechi, Henry R Rawls, Valerie A Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nanoemulsions (NE) are a unique class of disinfectants produced by mixing a water immiscible liquid phase into an aqueous phase under high shear forces. NE have antimicrobial properties and are also effective anti-biofilm agents. Materials and methods: The effectiveness of nanoemulsion and its components was determined against Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus casei by live/dead staining. In vitro antimicrobial effectiveness of nanoemulsion against planktonic S. mutans, L. casei, Actinomyces viscosus, Candida albicans and mixed culture was determined by a serial dilution technique to obtain minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration (MIC/MBC). In addition, efficacy was investigated by kinetics of killing, adherence and biofilm assays. Results: Compared to its components, nanoemulsion showed notable antimicrobial activity against biofilm organisms, up to 83.0% kill within 1 min. NE dilutions ranging from 243 to 19683 were effective against planktonic S. mutans, L. casei, A. viscosus, C. albicans and mixed culture of these four strains as shown through MIC/MBC assays. NE showed antimicrobial activity against planktonic cells at high dilutions, confirmed by time kill studies. The level of adhesion on glass surface was reduced by 94.2-99.5% in nanoemulsion treated groups (p < 0.001). 4-Day-old S. mutans, L. casei, A. viscosus, C. albicans and mixed cultures biofilms treated with NE showed reductions of bacterial counts with decreasing dilutions (p < 0.001). Conclusion: These results suggest that nanoemulsion has effective anti-cariogenic activity against cariogenic microorganisms and may be a useful medication in the prevention of caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Adherence
  • Anti-caries
  • Biofilm organisms
  • Cariogenic microorganisms
  • Nanoemulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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