Chitosan is a cationic natural polymer that is widely used as a topical dressing in wound management. Temporary coatings of removable denture bases with chitosan might be useful as supportive treatment in oral medicine. The aim of this study was to analyze the thickness, uniformity, and adhesive strength of chitosan coatings on simulated denture bases made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). According to a standardized protocol, 20 PMMA cylinders (13 mm diameter, 5 mm in height) as well as 20 cubes (a
= 25 mm) with intaglio U-shaped profiles were manufactured to simulate average sized alveolar ridges. Cylinders as well as cubes were divided into four test series with n
= 5 each. After sandblasting with silica-modified alumina, one frontal surface of the PMMA cylinders and the intaglio surfaces of the U-shaped profiles was coated with chitosan acetate solution according to the following protocols: one layer of 2% chitosan acetate solution (test series I), one layer of 4% chitosan acetate solution (test series II), two layers of 2% chitosan acetate solution (test series III), and two layers of 4% chitosan acetate solution (test series IV). After drying and neutralization with NaOH, each cube was cut transversely and the coating thickness across the U-shaped profile assessed with a light microscope. Adhesive strength was evaluated by simulated tooth brushing and the loss of chitosan coating was evaluated qualitatively. Statistical analysis used Friedman ANOVA test for dependent samples and Kruskal-Wallis test for independent samples, post-hoc Dunn’s test (p
< 0.05), and binomial test (p
= 0.05). The mean chitosan coating thicknesses in the depth of the U-profiles were 71 µm (test series I), 77 µm (test series II), 121 µm (test series III), and 517 µm (test series VI). The thickness continuously decreased with rising angulation of the U-profile side walls. In test series I, the chitosan coating thickness significantly dropped above a 30° angulation of the U-profile side walls. In test series II to IV, the chitosan thickness drop was not statistically significant at angulations of 30° and 60°, but was at 90° angulation of the U-profile side walls. Adhesion strength was rated fair to good and did not differ significantly among the four test series. The coating technique described revealed chitosan layers with overall good adhesion strength but differing thicknesses. Coatings with one or two layers of 4% chitosan acetate solution allowed a relatively uniform chitosan thickness and thus might be usable in oral medicine.
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