Current perspectives of nanoparticles in medical and dental biomaterials
- Received Date: 2012-03-22
- Available Online: 2012-06-05
Abstract: Nanotechnology is gaining tremendous impetus due to its capability of modulating metals into their nanosize, which drastically changes the chemical, physical and optical properties of metals. Nanoparticles have been introduced as materials with good potential to be extensively used in biological and medical applications. Nanoparticles are clusters of atoms in the size range of 1-100 nm. Inorganic nanoparticles and their nano-composites are applied as good antibacterial agents. Due to the outbreak of infectious diseases caused by different pathogenic bacteria and the development of antibiotic resistance, pharmaceutical companies and researchers are searching for new antibacterial agents. The metallic nanoparticles are the most promising as they show good antibacterial properties due to their large surface area to volume ratios, which draw growing interest from researchers due to increasing microbial resistance against metal ions, antibiotics and the development of resistant strains. Metallic nanoparticles can be used as effective growth inhibitors in various microorganisms and thereby are applicable to diverse medical devices. Nanotechnology discloses the use of elemental nanoparticles as active antibacterial ingredient for dental materials. In dentistry, both restorative materials and oral bacteria are believed to be responsible for restoration failure. Secondary caries is found to be the main reason to restoration failure. Secondary caries is primarily caused by invasion of plaque bacteria (acid-producing bacteria) such as Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates. To make long-lasting restorations, antibacterial materials should be made. The potential of nanoparticles to control the formation of biofilms within the oral cavity is also coming under increasing scrutiny. Possible uses of nanoparticles as topically applied agents within dental materials and the application of nanoparticles in the control of oral infections are also reviewed.