New Study Shows “Nanozyme” Therapy Prevents Plaque Buildup

This new study demonstrates that this specific ferumoxytol and hydrogen peroxide therapy can treat and prevent plaque buildup.

A new study led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine demonstrates that an FDA-approved iron-oxide nanoparticle used to treat anemia, can act as an enzyme to activate hydrogen peroxide to suppress the growth of tooth-decay that lead to biofilms. This study was inspired by the evidence that there is a link between iron-deficiency anemia and severe tooth decay.

Research from the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with Indiana University suggests that this iron-oxide, nanoparticle therapy can be used to treat and prevent eventual tooth decay. The therapy is a combination of iron-oxide nanoparticle-containing solution ferumoxytol and hydrogen peroxide. The study found that applying ferumoxtyl and a follow-up rinse that activated the hydrogen peroxide contained within, when applied twice a day, reduced buildup of harmful dental plaque.

Researchers had 15 participants use a removable, denture device with real tooth enamel attached. Participants applied a sugar solution to the appliance 4 times a day and asked not to brush the enamel, but to rinse the appliance twice a day. Three groups of applied 3 different methods each; one group used the ferumoxytol then hydrogen peroxide rinse, 1 group used a solution that provided the inactive ingredients in ferumoxytol, and the third group just used water. The results supported the conclusion that the experimental treatment reduced the growth of biofilms with high specificity. This “nanozyme” particle has great potential in biomedical therapies, according to Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Hyun (Michel) Koo.

“We found that this approach is both precise and effective,” Koo said in an article from Penn Today. “It disrupts biofilms, particularly those formed by Streptoccocus mutans, which cause caries, and it also reduced the extent of enamel decay. This is the first study we know of done in a clinical setting that demonstrates the therapeutic value of nanozymes against an infectious disease.”

The full study has been published in the journal Nano Letters, and is a continuation of a 2018 paper published in Nature Communications.