Methods and terminology used in cell-culture studies of low-dose effects of matrix constituents of polymer resin-based dental materials

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General comprehension of terms and confounding factors associated with in vitro experiments can maximize the potential of in vitro testing of substances. In this systematic review, we present an overview of the terms and methods used to determine low-dose effects of matrix constituents in polymer resin-based dental materials in cell-culture studies and discuss the findings in light of how they may influence the comprehension and interpretation of results. Articles published between 1996 and 2015 were identified by searches in the Scopus, Web of Science, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Embase databases using keywords associated with low-dose effects, polymer resin-based materials, in vitro parameters, and dental materials. Twenty-nine articles were included. Subtoxic (n = 11), sublethal (n = 10), and nontoxic (n = 6) were the terms most commonly used to describe the low-dose effects of methacrylates. However, definition of terms varied. Most (82%) studies employed only one method to define the exposure scenario, and no agreement was seen between studies on the use of solvents. Prophylactic use of antibiotics was widespread, and mycoplasma screening was not reported. In conclusion, cell-culture conditions and tests used to define exposure scenarios have changed little in the last decades, despite development in recommendations. Nomenclature alignment is needed for a better understanding of possible biohazards of methacrylates.

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