Tuning nano-amorphous calcium phosphate content in novel rechargeable antibacterial dental sealant

Maria Salem Ibrahim, Faisal D. AlQarni, Yousif A. Al-Dulaijan, Michael D. Weir, Thomas W. Oates, Hockin H.K. Xu, Mary Anne S. Melo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Dental sealants with antibacterial and remineralizing properties are promising for caries prevention among children and adolescents. The application of nanotechnology and polymer development have enabled nanoparticles of amorphous calcium phosphate (NACP) and dimethylaminohexadecyl methacrylate (DMAHDM) to emerge as anti-caries strategies via resin-based dental materials. Our objectives in this study were to (1) incorporate different mass fractions of NACP into a parental rechargeable and antibacterial sealant; (2) investigate the effects on mechanical performance, and (3) assess how the variations in NACP concentration would affect the calcium (Ca) and phosphate (PO4) ion release and re-chargeability over time. NACP were synthesized using a spray-drying technique and incorporated at mass fractions of 0, 10, 20 and 30%. Flexural strength, flexural modulus, and flowability were assessed for mechanical and physical performance. Ca and PO4 ion release were measured over 70 days, and three ion recharging cycles were performed for re-chargeability. The impact of the loading percentage of NACP upon the sealant's performance was evaluated, and the optimized formulation was eventually selected. The experimental sealant at 20% NACP had flexural strength and flexural modulus of 79.5 ± 8.4 MPa and 4.2 ± 0.4 GPa, respectively, while the flexural strength and flexural modulus of a commercial sealant control were 70.7 ± 5.5 MPa (p > 0.05) and 3.3 ± 0.5 GPa (p < 0.05), respectively. A significant reduction in flow was observed in the experimental sealant at 30% NACP (p < 0.05). Increasing the NACP mass fraction increased the ion release. The sealant formulation with NACP at 20% displayed desirable mechanical performance and ideal flow and handling properties, and also showed high levels of long-term Ca and PO4 ion release and excellent recharge capabilities. The findings provide fundamental data for the development of a new generation of antibacterial and rechargeable Ca and PO4 dental sealants to promote remineralization and inhibit caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1544
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 27 2018


  • Calcium phosphate nanoparticles
  • Dental sealant
  • Ion recharge
  • Long-term ion release
  • Remineralization
  • Resin sealant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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