Dental plaques are biofilms that cause dental caries by demineralization with acidogenic bacteria. These bacteria reside inside a protective sheath which makes any curative treatment challenging. We propose an antibiotic-free strategy to disrupt the biofilm by engineered clustered carbon dot nanoparticles that function in the acidic environment of the biofilms. In vitro and ex vivo studies on the mature biofilms of Streptococcus mutans revealed >90% biofilm inhibition associated with the contact-mediated interaction of nanoparticles with the bacterial membrane, excessive reactive oxygen species generation, and DNA fragmentation. An in vivo examination showed that these nanoparticles could effectively suppress the growth of S. mutans. Importantly, 16S rRNA analysis of the dental microbiota showed that the diversity and richness of bacterial species did not substantially change with nanoparticle treatment. Overall, this study presents a safe and effective approach to decrease the dental biofilm formation without disrupting the ecological balance of the oral cavity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)