Sol-gel-derived bioactive glasses demonstrate antimicrobial effects on common oral bacteria

Satin Salehi, Harry B. Davis, Jack L. Ferracane, John C. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the antibacterial effect of nano-structured, sol-gel processed bioactive glasses that may be used for implants, coatings, and as adjuncts to dental restorative materials. Methods: Six bioactive glasses (BAG), three made with differing amounts of silica (65, 75 and 85 mole%), and three with different amounts of silica (61, 71, and 81 mole%) and 3 mole% fluoride were prepared by a sol-gel synthesis method and tested against clinically important bacteria species, Streptococcus sobrinus (ATCC33478), Streptococcus mutans (ATCC25175) and Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC19433). Bacterial suspensions were independently incubated with bioactive glass in particulate form (< 3 μm) for 4 and 24 hours. Viability was determined by colony-forming units. Results: At 4 hours, all BAG produced an order of magnitude reduction in all three bacteria. After 24 hours, all BAG produced a significant reduction in S. sobrinus colonies, but no further reduction in S. mutans; all BAG, except BAG 61-F, significantly reduced E. faecalis compared to the control. At 4 hours, an increase in the pH of the BAG groups (to pH 9) could also have contributed to the bactericidal effect. In further experiments it was found that the viability of S. sobrinus was significantly reduced following exposure to an extract of BAG in media adjusted to a pH of 7.4. Additionally media with pH adjusted to 9 exerted a significant antibacterial effect against S. sobrinus after 4 hours. To determine the influence of the calcium ions released from the BAG in the absence of the pH effect, a typical dose response was demonstrated after 4 hours of exposure of S. sobrinus to media containing various levels of calcium. The results of this study clearly suggest that the effect of BAG extract on bacteria is not only related to a pH effect, but is also linked to an effect of liberated ions, such as calcium, extracted from the surface of the bioactive glasses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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