The cytotoxicity of restorative dental materials must be investigated to ensure a safe biological response. The MTS assay, a valid and reliable measure of cell viability based on the mitochondrial activity of cultured cells, was used to evaluate the affects on human periodontal ligament (PDL) cells of two resin-modified glass ionomer cements (R-M GICs) (Fuji Duet and Fuji II LC, GC America, Chicago, IL) and one dental amalgam (Contour, Caulk, York, PA)-all suggested materials for root perforation repair. Twelve 4 x 6 mm cylinders of each material were fabricated and placed in 5 ml of alpha-minimum essential medium supplemented with 100 micrograms/ml of penicillin, 50 micrograms/ml of gentamicin, and 5% fetal bovine serum for 24, 48, and 72 h (n = 3). One hundred microliters of eluate was transferred to triplicate wells containing PDL cells previously plated at a density of 10,000 cells/well in a 96-well plate, and incubated for 24 h at 37 degrees C with 5% carbon dioxide. alpha-Minimum essential medium with supplements provided baseline data. Optical density at 490 nm, directly proportional to the number of viable cells, was determined according to manufacturer instructions. Analysis of variance was used to detect differences between treatments and Tukey's HSD (p < 0.05) to detect for differences between group means. Results demonstrated that both material and time affected cell viability (p < 0.0001), with amalgam eluate significantly inhibitory on cell viability at 24 h, compared with control and the two other tested materials. At 48 and 72 h, all three materials exhibited a similar slightly inhibitory effect on the cell viability. Use of resin-modified glass ionomer cement as a root perforation repair material initially (< 24 h) may result in a more favorable response by PDL cells than the tested dental amalgam.
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