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Synthesis and antimicrobial activity of β-lactams in dentistry for treatment of root canal infection


The treatment of root canal infection consists of eradicating microbes from the root canal and preventing re infection by root filling. Though the existing intra canal medicaments fight against multidrug resistant microbes in root canal, still re-infections occurs. The objective of this study is to synthesize new β-lactam compounds and evaluate their antimicrobial activity to treat root canal infections.

Materials and methods

A series of β-lactam compounds were synthesized through 1, 3 dipolar cycloaddition reaction and their antimicrobial activity was evaluated against E. faecalis, S. aureus, S. pneumoniae and C. albicans that are commonly implicated in endodontic failures. The antibacterial activities were assessed in vitro by 1) Agar diffusion test (ADT) 2) MIC by microdilution method 3) Time kill assay 4) Efficacy in ex vivo dentine model 5) Haemolytic assay.


In this study, 16 compounds were tested and 6 compounds showed activity against E. faecalis, S. aureus, S. pneumoniae and C. albicans. In the time kill assay, the CFUs of E. faecalis were reduced after treatment with the compounds at their MICs. All the 6 compounds showed good antibacterial activity in dentinal tubule model at depth of 200 μm and 400 μm and the compounds were found to be hemocompatible.


Overall, our experimental results revealed that β-lactam compounds exhibited promising antimicrobial activities in dentinal tubule model which can be further explored for the development of potent drugs against microbes involved in endodontic failures.

Author information

Correspondence to M Gowri.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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About this article


  • Antimicrobial Activity
  • Antibacterial Activity
  • Root Canal
  • Cycloaddition Reaction
  • Microdilution Method