Our studies of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)-based dental materials are focused on the design of bioactive, non-degradable, biocompatible, polymeric composites derived from acrylic monomer systems and ACP by photochemical or chemically activated polymerization. Their intended uses include remineralizing bases/liners, orthodontic adhesives and/or endodontic sealers. The bioactivity of these materials originates from the propensity of ACP, once exposed to oral fluids, to release Ca and PO4
ions (building blocks of tooth and bone mineral) in a sustained manner while spontaneously converting to thermodynamically stable apatite. As a result of ACP’s bioactivity, local Ca- and PO4
-enriched environments are created with supersaturation conditions favorable for the regeneration of tooth mineral lost to decay or wear. Besides its applicative purpose, our research also seeks to expand the fundamental knowledge base of structure-composition-property relationships existing in these complex systems and identify the mechanisms that govern filler/polymer and composite/tooth interfacial phenomena. In addition to an extensive physicochemical evaluation, we also assess the leachability of the unreacted monomers and in vitro
cellular responses to these types of dental materials. The systematic physicochemical and cellular assessments presented in this study typically provide model materials suitable for further animal and/or clinical testing. In addition to their potential dental clinical value, these studies suggest the future development of calcium phosphate-based biomaterials based on composite materials derived from biodegradable polymers and ACP, and designed primarily for general bone tissue regeneration.