Root caries prevention has been a challenge for clinicians due to its special anatomical location, which favors the accumulation of dental plaque. Researchers are looking for anti-biofouling material to inhibit bacterial growth on exposed root surfaces. This study aimed to develop polydopamine-induced-polyethylene glycol (PEG) and to study its anti-biofouling effect against a multi-species cariogenic biofilm on the root dentine surface. Hydroxyapatite disks and human dentine blocks were divided into four groups for experiments. They received polydopamine-induced-PEG, PEG, polydopamine, or water application. Contact angle, quartz crystal microbalance, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to study the wetting property, surface affinity, and an infrared spectrum; the results indicated that PEG was induced by polydopamine onto a hydroxyapatite disk. Salivary mucin absorption on hydroxyapatite disks with polydopamine-induced-PEG was confirmed using spectrophotometry. The growth of a multi-species cariogenic biofilm on dentine blocks with polydopamine-induced-PEG was assessed and monitored by colony-forming units, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that dentine with polydopamine-induced-PEG had fewer bacteria than other groups. In conclusion, a novel polydopamine-induced-PEG coating was developed. Its anti-biofouling effect inhibited salivary mucin absorption and cariogenic biofilm formation on dentine surface and thus may be used for the prevention of root dentine caries.
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