Nanoparticles to improve disinfection in endodontics

Endodontic therapy, also known as root canal treatment, is a very common dental treatment in which the dental pulp is extracted to solve an infection or lesion of the tooth without losing it. About five million of these interventions are performed every year in Spain, sometimes requiring several visits to the dentist to complete the procedure. In this period between visits it is necessary to use antiseptic agents to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in the interdental canals, a disinfection therapy that has not incorporated any improvement over the last fifty years. Therefore, a team led by Maria Luisa García and Elena Sánchez, researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of the UB, is developing a nanoparticle ice to improve the disinfection process during endodontic procedures.

The complex anatomy of root canals and the formation of bacterial biofilms mean that current therapy is not effective in 15% of cases. For this reason, the aim of the project is to obtain a thermosensitive gel, liquid at room temperature, which allows professionals to use the usual instruments during application but which, once introduced into the dental tissues, increases its viscosity and adheres to these areas of difficult access.

Biodegradable nanoparticles developed by the research team and capable of encapsulating calcium hydroxide, a substance widely used in endodontics to prevent infections due to its antimicrobial activity, will be dispersed in this gel. In addition, these nanoparticles allow the calcium hydroxide to be released for a prolonged period of time. According to the first studies carried out with the prototype of the new product, these nanoparticles achieve a significantly higher penetration inside root canals than the same substance applied with traditional methods and formulation.

The Bosch i Gimpera Foundation has awarded €25,000 to this project within the framework of the call for proposals of the Fund for the Promotion of Innovation (F2I) with the aim of enabling new studies on the characterization and therapeutic efficacy of the new product and their valorization.

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