Tuneable denture adhesives using biomimetic principles for enhanced tissue adhesion in moist environments

Simrone K. Gill, Nima Roohpour, Paul D. Topham*, Brian J. Tighe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nature provides many interesting examples of adhesive strategies. Of particular note, the protein glue secreted by marine mussels delivers high adhesion in wet and dynamic environments owing to existence of catechol moieties. As such, this study focuses on denture fixatives, where a non-zinc-containing commercial-based formulation has been judiciously modified by a biomimetic catechol-inspired polymer, poly(3,4-dihydroxystyrene/styrene-alt-maleic acid) in a quest to modulate adhesive performance. In vitro studies, in a lap-shear configuration, revealed that the catechol-modified components were able to enhance adhesion to both the denture base and hydrated, functional oral tissue mimic, with the resulting mode of failure prominently being adhesive rather than cohesive. These characteristics are desirable in prosthodontic fixative applications, for which temporary adhesion must be maintained, with ultimately an adhesive failure from the mucosal tissue surface preferred. These insights provide an experimental platform in the design of future biomimetic adhesive systems. Statement of Significance: Mussel adhesive proteins have proven to be promising biomimetic adhesive candidates for soft tissues and here for the first time we have adapted marine adhesive technology into a denture fixative application. Importantly, we have incorporated a soft tissue mimic in our in vitro adhesion technique that more closely resembles the oral mucosa than previously studied substrates. The novel biomimetic-modified adhesives showed the ability to score the highest adhesive bonding out of all the formulations included in this study, across all moisture levels.This paper will be of major interest to the Acta Biomaterialia readership since the study has illustrated the potential of biomimetic principles in the design of effective prosthodontic tissue adhesives in a series of purpose-designed in vitro experiments in the context of the challenging features of the oral environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-335
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Early online date7 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Funding: BBSRC and GSK under the Industrial CASE Studentship Scheme (grant number – BB/L502200/1).


  • Adhesive
  • Biomimetic
  • Catechol
  • Denture
  • Poly(3,4-dihydroxystyrene)


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