Optimizing resin-dentin bond stability using a bioactive adhesive with concomitant antibacterial properties and anti-proteolytic activities
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Secondary caries and hybrid layer degradation are two major challenges encountered in long-term resin-dentin bond stability. As a link between resin and dentin, adhesives that possess both antimicrobial and anti-proteolytic activities are in demand for eliminating bacteria-induced secondary caries and preventing hybrid layers from degradation. In the present study, a new quaternary ammonium methacryloxy silane (QAMS) prepared from sol-gel chemistry was incorporated into experimental adhesives to examine their antimicrobial effect and anti-proteolytic potential. This functional methacrylate resin monomer contains polymerizable methacryloxy functionalities as well as a positively-charged quaternary ammonium functionality with a long, lipophilic -C18H37 alkyl chain for puncturing the cell wall/membrane of surface-colonizing organisms. Antibacterial testing performed using agar diffusion test, live/dead bacterial staining and colony-forming unit counts all indicated that the QAMS-containing adhesives killed Streptococcus mutans and Actinomyces naeslundii in a dose-dependent manner via a predominant contact-killing mechanism. Gelatinolytic activity within the hybrid layers created by these adhesives was examined using in-situ zymography. Hybrid layers created with 0% QAMS-containing adhesive exhibited intense green fluorescence emitted by the hydrolyzed fluorescein-conjugated gelatin, with 4-fold increase in enzymatic activity compared with an experimental adhesive containing 5% QAMS. Taken together, incorporation of 5% QAMS in the experimental adhesive provides simultaneous antimicrobial and anti-proteolytic activities that are crucial for the maintenance of long-term resin-dentin bond integrity. Statement of Significance: Durability of resin-dentin interfacial bond remains a clinically-significant challenge. Secondary caries caused by bacteria and the degradation of hybrid layers via endogenous dentin proteases are two important contributors to the poor resin-dentin bond durability. The present study developed a new 5% QAMS-containing adhesive that provides simultaneous antimicrobial and dentin protease inhibition functions to extend the longevity of resin-dentin bonds.