Triple Antibiotic Polymer Nanofibers for Intracanal Drug Delivery: Effects on Dual Species Biofilm and Cell Function

Divya Pankajakshan, Maria T.P. Albuquerque, Joshua D. Evans, Malgorzata M. Kamocka, Richard L. Gregory, Marco C. Bottino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Introduction Root canal disinfection and the establishment of an intracanal microenvironment conducive to the proliferation/differentiation of stem cells play a significant role in regenerative endodontics. This study was designed to (1) investigate the antimicrobial efficacy of triple antibiotic–containing nanofibers against a dual-species biofilm and (2) evaluate the ability of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) to adhere to and proliferate on dentin upon nanofiber exposure. Methods Seven-day-old dual-species biofilm established on dentin specimens was exposed for 3 days to the following: saline (control), antibiotic-free nanofibers (control), and triple antibiotic–containing nanofibers or a saturated triple antibiotic paste (TAP) solution (50 mg/mL in phosphate buffer solution). Bacterial viability was assessed using the LIVE/DEAD assay (Molecular Probes, Inc, Eugene, OR) and confocal laser scanning microscopy. For cytocompatibility studies, dentin specimens after nanofiber or TAP (1 g/mL in phosphate buffer solution) exposure were evaluated for cell adhesion and spreading by actin-phalloidin staining. DPSC proliferation was assessed on days 1, 3, and 7. Statistics were performed, and significance was set at the 5% level. Results Confocal laser scanning microscopy showed significant bacterial death upon antibiotic-containing nanofiber exposure, differing significantly (P < .05) from antibiotic-free fibers and the control (saline). DPSCs showed enhanced adhesion/spreading on dentin specimens treated with antibiotic-containing nanofibers when compared with its TAP counterparts. The DPSC proliferation rate was similar on days 1 and 3 in antibiotic-free nanofibers, triple antibiotic–containing nanofibers, and TAP-treated dentin. Proliferation was higher (9-fold) on dentin treated with antibiotic-containing nanofibers on day 7 compared with TAP. Conclusions Triple antibiotic–containing polymer nanofibers led to significant bacterial death, whereas they did not affect DPSC attachment and proliferation on dentin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1490-1495
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Antibiotic
  • disinfection
  • electrospinning
  • nanofibers
  • regeneration
  • stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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