Curcumin—A Natural Medicament for Root Canal Disinfection: Effects of Irrigation, Drug Release, and Photoactivation

Julian M. Sotomil, Eliseu A. Münchow, Divya Pankajakshan, Kenneth J. Spolnik, Jessica A. Ferreira, Richard L. Gregory, Marco C. Bottino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Curcumin incorporation into polymeric fibers was tested for its antimicrobial properties and potential use in root canal disinfection. Methods: Curcumin-modified fibers were processed via electrospinning and tested against a 7-day old established Actinomyces naeslundii biofilm. The medicaments tested were as follows: curcumin-modified fibers at 2.5 and 5.0 mg/mL, curcumin-based irrigant at 2.5 and 5.0 mg/mL, saline solution (negative control), and the following positive controls: 2% chlorhexidine, 1% sodium hypochlorite, and triple antibiotic paste (TAP, 1 mg/mL). All medicaments, except for the positive controls, were allocated according to the light exposure protocol (ie, photoactivation with a light-emitting diode every 30 seconds for 4 minutes or without photoactivation). After treatment, the medicaments were removed, and 1 mL saline solution was added; the biofilm was scraped from the well and used to prepare a 1:2000 dilution. Spiral plating was performed using anaerobic blood agar plates. After 24 hours, colony-forming units (colony-forming units/mL, n = 11/group) were counted to determine the antimicrobial effects. Results: Data exhibited significant antimicrobial effects on the positive control groups followed by the curcumin irrigants and, lastly, the photoactivated curcumin-modified fibers. There was a significant reduction of viable bacteria in curcumin-based irrigants, which was greater than the TAP-treated group. Curcumin-free fibers, saline, and the nonphotoactivated curcumin-modified fibers did not display antimicrobial activity. Conclusions: Curcumin seems to be a potential alternative to TAP when controlling infection, but it requires a minimal concentration (2.5 mg/mL) to be effective. Photoactivation of curcumin-based medicaments seems to be essential to obtain greater antibiofilm activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1377
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Curcumin
  • disinfection
  • electrospinning
  • endodontics
  • photodynamic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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