Effect of benzalkonium chloride on dentin bond strength and endogenous enzymatic activity

Allegra Comba, Tatjana Maravic, Lucrezia Valente, Margherita Girlando, Sandra R. Cunha, Vittorio Checchi, Stefano Salgarello, Franklin R. Tay, Nicola Scotti, Lorenzo Breschi, Annalisa Mazzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: This in vitro study evaluated at baseline (T0) and over time (T12 months), the effect of a multi-mode universal adhesive compared with two experimental formulations blended with different concentrations of benzalkonium chloride (BAC), on bond strength and endogenous enzymatic activity. Methods and materials: Specimens were assigned to the following groups according to the adhesive protocol: G1) All-Bond Universal (ABU) self-etch (SE); G2) ABU + 0.5% BAC SE; G3) ABU + 1% methacrylate BAC SE; G4) ABU etch-and-rinse (E&R); G5) ABU + 0.5% BAC E&R; G6) ABU + 1% methacrylate BAC E&R. Gelatin zymography was performed on dentin powder obtained from eight human third molars. Endogenous enzymatic activity within the hybrid layer was examined using in situ zymography after 24 h (T0) or 1-year storage in artificial saliva (T12). Forty intact molars were prepared for microtensile bond strength test at T0 and T12. Results were statistically analyzed with three-way ANOVA (α = 0.05). Results: Gelatin zymography assay and in situ zymography quantification analyses indicated that all the BAC-containing formulations decreased matrix metalloproteinase expression. However, in situ zymography showed a general trend of enzymatic activity increase after aging. Microtensile bond-strength testing showed decrease in bond strength over time in all the tested groups; performances of the 1% methacrylate BAC experimental groups were worse than the control. Conclusions: BAC-containing adhesives reduce endogenous enzymatic activity both immediately and over time. However, independently from the adhesive employed, increase in the gelatinolytic activity over time and decrease in bond strength was found (especially in the BAC + 1% methacrylate groups), probably due to impaired polymerization properties. Clinical significance: Adhesives containing protease inhibitors are practical and efficient tools in clinical practice for enhancement of the longevity of dental restorations. However, extensive investigation of the mechanical and adhesive properties of the material is necessary prior to their clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dentistry
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • In situ zymography
  • MMPs
  • Microtensile bond strength
  • Universal adhesives
  • Zymographic assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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