Novel rechargeable calcium phosphate nanocomposite with antibacterial activity to suppress biofilm acids and dental caries

Yousif A. Al-Dulaijan, Lei Cheng, Michael D. Weir, Mary Anne S. Melo, Huaibing Liu, Thomas W. Oates, Lin Wang, Hockin H.K. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: Rechargeable calcium phosphate (CaP) composites were developed recently. However, none of the rechargeable CaP composites was antibacterial. The objectives of this study were to develop the first rechargeable CaP composite that was antibacterial, and to investigate the effects of adding dimethylaminohexadecyl methacrylate (DMAHDM) into rechargeable CaP composite on ion rechargeability and re-release as well as biofilm properties. Methods: DMAHDM was synthesized via a Menschutkin reaction. Nanoparticles of amorphous calcium phosphate (NACP) were synthesized using a spray-drying technique. The resin contained ethoxylated bisphenol A dimethacrylate (EBPADMA) and pyromellitic glycerol dimethacrylate (PMGDM). Two composites were fabricated: rechargeable NACP composite, and rechargeable NACP-DMAHDM composite. Mechanical properties and ion release and recharge were measured. A dental plaque microcosm biofilm model using saliva was tested. Results: Flexural strength and elastic modulus of rechargeable NACP and NACP-DMAHDM composites matched commercial control composite (p > 0.1). NACP-DMAHDM inhibited biofilm metabolic activity and lactic acid, and reduced biofilm colony-forming units (CFU) by 3–4 log. NACP and NACP-DMAHDM showed similar Ca and P ion recharge and re-release (p > 0.1). Therefore, adding DMAHDM did not compromise the ion rechargeability. One recharge yielded continuous release for 42 d. The release was maintained at the same level with increasing number of recharge cycles, indicating long-term ion release and remineralization capability. Conclusions: The first CaP rechargeable and antibacterial composite was developed. Adding DMAHDM into the rechargeable NACP composite did not adversely affect the Ca and P ion release and recharge, and the composite had much less biofilm growth and lactic acid production, with CFU reduction by 3–4 log. Clinical significance: This novel CaP rechargeable composite with long-term remineralization and antibacterial properties is promising for tooth restorations to inhibit caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dentistry
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Antibacterial
  • Calcium phosphate nanoparticles
  • Dental composite
  • Long-term ion recharge
  • Oral biofilms
  • Remineralization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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