Researchers have evaluated a new dental material tethered with an antimicrobial compound that not only kills bacteria but also resists biofilm growth. In addition, unlike some drug-infused materials, it is effective with minimal toxicity to the surrounding tissue, as it contains a low dose of the antimicrobial agent that kills only the bacteria that come in contact with it.

The newly developed material is comprised of a resin embedded with the antibacterial agent imidazolium. Unlike some traditional biomaterials, which slowly release a drug, this material is non-leachable, thereby only killing microbes that touch it.

Test results showed it to be effective in killing bacterial cells on contact, severely disrupting the ability of biofilms to grow on its surface. Only negligible amounts of biofilm matrix, the glue that holds clusters of bacteria together, were able to accumulate on the experimental material.

While the smallest force removed almost all the biofilm from the experimental material, even a force four times as strong was incapable of removing the biofilm from the control composite material.