Preliminary study of light-cured hydrogel for endodontic drug delivery vehicle

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Direct pulp capping is the treatment of an exposed vital pulp with a dental material to facilitate the formation of reparative dentin and maintenance of vital pulp. A bioengineered drug delivery vehicle has the potential to increase the success rate of pulp capping. The aim of this study was to develop an injectable and light-curing drug delivery vehicle for endodontic treatment including direct pulp capping.


Polyethylene glycol-maleate-citrate (PEGMC) hydrogel was synthesized as a drug delivery vehicle that is composed of PEGMC (45% w/v), acrylic acid (AA) (5% w/v), 2,2′-azobis(2-methylpropionamidine) dihydrochloride (AAPH) (0.1% w/v), and deionized water. The association between prehydrogel-solution volume and visible light-curing was examined. The cytotoxicity of the hydrogel was tested using L929 cells in a cell culture system. Ca2+ release from the hydrogel was determined using calcium hydroxide as the incorporated medicine.


The results showed that the light-curing time for hydrogel is comparable to composite resin. The hydrogel had cell toxicity similar to adhesive systems. Moreover, controlled Ca2+ release was obtained from the calcium hydroxide incorporated hydrogel.


The data suggest that hydrogel should be explored further as a promising drug delivery vehicle for vital pulp therapy and regenerative endodontics.

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