Coating Repels Bacteria from Clear Aligners and Retainers

Dentistry Today


Clear aligners and retainers are essential components of many orthodontic treatment plans, but they can become contaminated with bacterial biofilm. Researchers at Yonsei University and Kyung Hee University in Korea, though, have developed a film that can prevent bacteria from growing on these clear overlay appliances.

Inspired by super-hydrophilic antibacterial coatings on other medical devices, the researchers began with a polymer sheet made of polyethylene terephthalate that was modified with glycol (PETG) and layered films of carboxymethylcellulose and chitosan on it. This layered film created a super-hydrophilic surface that prevented bacteria from adhering to it.

When PETG with the film was compared to the bare material, bacterial growth was reduced by 75%. The coated plastic also was stronger and more durable than untreated material, even when tested with artificial saliva and various acidic solutions, because of the increased bond strength between the polysaccharide chains.

The study, “A Polysaccharide-Based Antibacterial Coating With Improved Durability for Clear Overlay Appliances,” was published by ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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