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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 6 ( June, 2015 ) > List of Articles


Antibiofilm and Antimicrobial Activity of Polyethylenimine: An Interesting Compound for Endodontic Treatment

Irene Pina-Vaz, Joana Barros, Ana Dias, Miguel A Rodrigues, Cidália Pina-Vaz, Maria A Lopes

Citation Information : Pina-Vaz I, Barros J, Dias A, Rodrigues MA, Pina-Vaz C, Lopes MA. Antibiofilm and Antimicrobial Activity of Polyethylenimine: An Interesting Compound for Endodontic Treatment. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015; 16 (6):427-432.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1701

Published Online: 01-11-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2015; The Author(s).



Bacteria levels of necrotic teeth are greatly reduced after endodontic treatment procedures but the presence of persisting microorganisms leads to continuous efforts to develop materials with antimicrobial properties. The purpose of the study was to determine the antimicrobial activity of polyethylenimine (PEI) against common bacteria and yeasts, regarding planktonic cells and biofilm, and to clarify its antimicrobial mechanism of action through flow cytometry.

Materials and methods

The antibiofilm and antimicrobial effect of PEI was determined against Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans strains using reference protocols. The effect of PEI was evaluated regarding adhesion, biofilm formation and biofilm disaggregation. In order to understand PEI cellular effects flow cytometric analysis was performed with different fluorescent markers.


It was verified that minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) values and minimal lethal concentrations (MLC) obtained for PEI were similar and ranged between 50 and 400 mg/l, proving the microbicidal and fungicidal activity of this compound. Antibiofilm activity was also proved for all the microorganisms. Severe lesion of the membrane and cell depolarization was demonstrated.


Polyethylenimine showed antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity against microorganisms often associated with apical periodontitis.

Clinical significance

Theoretically, prolonging the antibacterial effects of materials used in endodontics may be interesting to help prevent reinfection and possibly to affect residual bacteria that survived the treatment procedures.

How to cite this article

Barros J, Dias A, Rodrigues MA, Pina-Vaz C, Lopes MA, Pina-Vaz I. Antibiofilm and Antimicrobial Activity of Polyethylenimine: An Interesting Compound for Endodontic Treatment. J Contemp Dent Pract 2015;16(6):427-432.

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