Silver-polysaccharide antimicrobial nanocomposite coating for methacrylic surfaces reduces Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation in vitro

A. C. Ionescu, E. Brambilla, A. Travan, E. Marsich, I. Donati, P. Gobbi, G. Turco, R. Di Lenarda, M. Cadenaro, S. Paoletti, L. Breschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the in vitro microbiological performances of a lactose-modified chitosan (Chitlac) coating inside which silver nanoparticles were embedded (Chitlac-nAg) for BisGMA/TEGDMA methacrylic specimens. Methods Different concentrations of nAg inside Chitlac coating were tested (1 mM, 2 mM, 5 mM). Specimen surface was analyzed by means of field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FEISEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). A 48 h monospecific Streptococcus mutans biofilm was developed over the specimen surfaces using a modified drip-flow bioreactor; adherent viable biomass was assessed by MTT test and biofilm was imaged by confocal laser-scanning microscopy (CLSM). Results The presence of finely dispersed nanoparticles inside the Chitlac coating was confirmed by FEISEM and EDS analysis. All nanoparticles were embedded in the Chitlac coating layer. Chitlac-nAg coatings were able to significantly decrease biofilm formation depending on the nAg concentration, reaching a -80% viable biomass decrease when the 5 mM nAg-Chitlac group was confronted to non-coated control specimens. CLSM analysis did not provide evidence of a contact-killing activity, however the antibacterial Chitlac-nAg coating was able to alter biofilm morphology preventing the development of mature biofilm structures. Conclusions The microbiological model applied in this study helped in assessing the antibacterial properties of a coating designed for methacrylate surfaces. Clinical significance A microbiological model based on a bioreactor-grown biofilm is useful for preliminary in vitro tests of dental materials. In translational terms, an antibacterial nanocomposite coating based on Chitlac-nAg and designed to be applied to methacrylic surfaces may be a promising way to obtain dental materials able to actively prevent secondary caries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1490
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Biofilm
  • Bioreactors
  • Nanocomposite
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Streptococcus mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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