Comparison of human and bovine enamel in a microbial caries model at different biofilm maturations

Hadeel M. Ayoub, Richard L. Gregory, Qing Tang, Frank Lippert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare human versus bovine enamel when used in microbial caries models; and to evaluate the use of nylon mesh to support biofilm growth over enamel. Methods: Twenty-four sub-subgroups were included (time factor: 4, 8, and 12 days; substrate factor: human/bovine; mesh factor: yes/no; treatment factor: 18.4 mM NaF (350 ppm F), de-ionized water [DIW]; n = 9/sub-subgroup). Microcosm biofilm from human saliva (IRB approval #1,406,440,799) was grown on enamel specimens for 24-h (Brain Heart Infusion media; 0.2 % sucrose), using active attachment model. Then, pH-cycling took place. At the end of each pH-cycling period, enamel specimens were analyzed: surface microhardness (VHNchange); transverse microradiography (integrated mineral loss [ΔZ], lesion depth [L]). Biofilm was analyzed: lactic acid production (LDH activity); exopolysaccharide (EPS) amount; and viability (12-day sub-groups). Data were analyzed using ANOVA at a 5 % level of significance. Results: The three-way interaction between pH-cycling duration, substrate type, and treatment type was significant for (VHNchange [p < 0.0005], ΔZ [p = 0.0027], and L [p < 0.0001]). VHNchange exhibited increased lesion severity as pH-cycling time increases, in both treatments. VHNchange data indicated a treatment effect in all timepoints. ΔZ and L exhibited higher values with more mature biofilms. ANOVA analyses for LDH and EPS indicated a significance between variables (LDH p = 0.0100; EPS p < 0.0001). Mesh-covered specimens resulted in lower LDH and EPS values in all maturations. ANOVA analyses of viability (12 days) between variables was significant. Conclusion: within the study's limitations, human or bovine enamel can be used in microbial in vitro caries models to study biofilm's maturation and anticaries agents. Clinical Significance: This study demonstrated how a known cariostatic effect of a fluoride concentration in toothpastes can be modulated by the maturation stage of oral biofilm. This can represent hard to reach areas in the oral cavity (e.g. in orthodontic patients or patients with intermaxillary fixation following oral and maxillofacial surgeries).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103328
JournalJournal of Dentistry
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Biofilm maturation
  • Bovine enamel
  • Microcosm biofilm
  • Protective mesh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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