Odontology. 2022 Jun 22. doi: 10.1007/s10266-022-00722-8. Online ahead of print.
This investigation aimed to synthesize poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA)-based fibrous scaffolds containing natural essential oils (i.e., linalool and citral) and determine their antimicrobial properties and cytocompatibility as a clinically viable cell-friendly disinfection strategy for regenerative endodontics. PLA-based fibrous scaffolds were fabricated via electrospinning with different concentrations of linalool and citral. The micromorphology and average diameter of the fibers was investigated through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The chemical composition of the scaffolds was inferred by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Antimicrobial efficacy against Enterococcus faecalis and Actinomyces naeslundii was also evaluated by agar diffusion and colony-forming units (CFU) assays. The scaffolds’ cytocompatibility was determined using dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). Statistical analyses were performed and the significance level was set at α = 5%. Linalool and citral’s incorporation in the PLA fibrous scaffolds was confirmed in the FTIR spectra. SEM images indicate no morphological changes upon inclusion of the essential oils, except the reduced diameter of 40% linalool-laden fibers (p < 0.05). Importantly, significant antimicrobial properties were reported for citral-containing scaffolds for CFU/mL counts (p < 0.05), while only 20% and 40% linalool-laden scaffolds reduced CFU/mL (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, the inhibition halos were verified in a concentration-dependent manner for all monoterpenes-laden scaffolds. Citral- and linalool-laden PLA-based fibrous scaffolds showed acceptable cytocompatibility. The incorporation of natural monoterpenes did not alter the scaffolds’ fibrous morphology, promoted antimicrobial action against endodontic pathogens, and preserved DPSCs viability. Linalool- and citral-laden electrospun scaffolds hold promise as naturally derived antimicrobial therapeutics for applications in regenerative endodontics.