The loss of overlying enamel or cementum exposes dentinal tubules and increases the risk of several dental diseases, such as dentin hypersensitivity (causing sharp pain and anxiety), caries, and pulp inflammation. This paper presents a fast-reacting, more reliable and biocompatible biomaterial that effectively occludes exposed dentinal tubules by forming a biomimetic crystalline dentin barrier. To generate this biomaterial, a gelatin-templated mesoporous silica biomaterial (CaCO3@mesoporous silica, CCMS) containing nanosized calcium carbonate particles is mixed with 30% H3PO4 at a 1/1 molar ratio of Ca/P (denoted as CCMS-HP), which enables Ca2+ and PO43-/HPO42- ions to permeate the dentinal tubules and form dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD), tricalcium phosphate (TCP) or hydroxyapatite (HAp) crystals at a depth of approximately 40 μm (sub-μ-CT and nano-SEM/EDS examinations). In vitro biocompatibility tests (WST-1 and lactate dehydrogenase) and ALP assays show high cell viability and mineralization ability in a transwell dentin disc model treated with CCMS-HP (p < 0.05). The in vivo efficacy and biocompatibility analyses of the biomaterial in an animal model reveal significant crystal growth (DCPD, TCP or HAp-like) and no pulp irritation after 70 days (p < 0.05). The developed CCMS-HP holds great promise for treating exposed dentin by growing biomimetic crystals within dentinal tubules. These findings demonstrate that the mesoporous silica biomaterials presented here have great potential for serving as both a catalyst and carrier in the repair or regeneration of dental hard tissue.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)