Therapeutic compounds aiming to negate dental plaque and tooth decay are often removed by saliva and swallowed even before they can make an impact. Nonetheless, researchers from the Rochester University have uncovered a new way to deliver antibacterial agents within the plaque, despite saliva presence.
To bind the agent, also referred to as farnesol, to targeted sites, the project team constructed spherical mass models, taking the form of a nanoparticle carriers. Their outer layer was made out of positively charge segments of polymers, while their inside harbored the drug constituting hydrophobic and pH-responsive polymers.
The positively charge outer layer was able to firmly attach to the teeth’s surface because of the enamel’s HA (hydroxyapatite) aggregates which are negatively charged. In the same methodology which sees opposite charged magnets attracting each other, so is the case for nanoparticles and HA. Not only did the particles stay in place, but they were also able to fasten around the polymeric matrix and dental plaque.