Characterization of the “in vitro pulp chamber” using the cytotoxicity of phenol

C. T. Hanks, M. L. Diehl, R. G. Craig, P. ‐K Makinen, D. H. Pashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Phenol was found to be an acceptable positive control substance for cytotoxicity assays in a new device, the “in vitro pulp chamber” (IVPC). Various concentrations of phenol were used to study its biologic effects on Balb/c 3T3 cells as well as its diffusion characteristics through various thicknesses of dentin disks. The cells showed a linear cytotoxic response to direct contact with phenol between the concentrations of 5 × 10−4 and 5 × 10−2 M. When a dentin barrier was used in the IVPC, phenol concentrations in the lower chamber were reduced below that in the reservoir and were inversely proportional to the thickness of the dentin. In the IVPC with 0.5 mm dentin disks, Balb/c 3T3 cells growing on the bottom of the dentin disks still maintained new protein synthesis at 60% of control levels when the phenol concentration in the reservoir was 0.05 M. When in direct contact with the cells this phenol concentration depressed protein synthesis to basal levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology & Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989


  • phenol
  • pulp chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics


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