Investigation into a novel textile biodegradable device for the prevention of paediatric dental caries
Dunn, Gail Jennifer
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Dental caries is the most common oral disease and usually begins in childhood. It affects a large percentage of children and adults worldwide. Bacteria, acid and saliva form plaque, which sticks to the teeth. If this plaque is not removed then the acid in the plaque damages the tooth enamel. If this early stage of caries is not treated then the disease progresses into cavities. The advanced stage of caries requires the diseased part of the tooth to be removed and replaced with a filling or the tooth extracted. This study investigates the use of a novel biopolymer called Solanyl as part of a biodegradable dental insert for the prevention of caries in children. It is a slow release device, which does not rely on patient compliance. The device comprises of three layers: a polysaccharide mixed with a flavouring on top, a hydrogel with an antibacterial agent in the middle and a biopolymer with anti-caries agent as the bottom layer. Solanyl is currently only used for making plant pots and plant identification markers. This will be the first time that it will have been used for biomedical purposes. This thesis presents the results from many experiments which were designed to evaluate the tensile strength, degradation rates and slow-release abilities of the developed novel biodegradable polymer. The polysaccharide used was Pullulan which had an average degradation rate of 154 secs. The hydrogel used was 5% CM500 containing 2% Chlorhexidine which had an average hourly chlorhexidine release rate of 6.231ppm/g. Solanyl with the addition of sodium fluoride was extruded into tapes. The tapes containing 8% NaF performed the best overall. The average tensile strength was 0.006 N/tex and the % elongation was 0.418 %/tex. The tapes were designed to degrade over weeks or months which was shown by slow-release rates of sodium fluoride and by SEM imaging. The average amount of fluoride released each week was 105.634 ppm/g and the average amount released after 1 month was 152.113 ppm/g. These properties were investigated in order to evaluate if a three-layer biodegradable device for the prevention of paediatric dental caries was possible to manufacture, be easy to insert by dentists and be cost effective.