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A new cost effective approach for plaque control and tooth decay prevention


Biocompatible nanoparticle based hydrogen peroxide combination therapy for the treatment of dental biofilms and prevention of tooth decay



Dental biofilms (plaque) are multilayer bacterial communities that exist within a protective extracellular matrix, thus making them extremely difficult to treat or remove. Over time, a highly acidic microenvironment can develop within the biofilm which results in dental caries (tooth decay).


According to the most recent NHNE survey, 92% of adults from ages 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth. This equated to a $19.35 billion consumer dental preventive market in 2014 which is expected to reach $23 billion by 2019 (BCC Research).


While current anti-plaque therapeutic modalities include substances such as chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide and other chemical biocides, none can degrade the protective extracellular matrix in biofilms or reduce the acidic microenvironment associated with caries, thereby making them ineffective. Likewise, anti-caries agents such as fluoride has limited effects against plaque formation.



Dr. Koo’s Lab has developed a novel, safe and cost effective nanoparticle based technology for use in combating both dental biofilms and caries. By combining small amounts of catalytic iron oxide nanoparticles (CAT-NP) with low doses of the commonly used cleanser, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), disruption of the biofilm matrix as well as rapid bacterial killing is observed. Furthermore, CAT-NP also blocks enamel apatite acid-dissolution.

Using 1-min topical daily treatment, CAT-NP/H2O2 effectively reduces the initiation and severity of carious lesions and completely inhibits extensive enamel damage. Importantly, CAT-NP activation of H2O2 is triggered only in acidic (pathological) conditions, thereby preventing any catalytic reaction at physiological conditions, providing a biocompatible treatment.



Dr. Hyun (Michel) Koo DDS. MS. PhD



  • Uniquely disrupts biofilms by destroying the matrix and killing bacteria simultaneously
  • Prevents tooth demineralization in acidic environments
  • Utilizes cost effective FDA approved materials
  • Can be formulated into a toothpaste, strips, gels or mouthwash


Stage of Development:

Proof of concept has been demonstrated in vivo 


Intellectual Property:

PCT Pending  


 Reference Media:

Gao, L et al., Biomaterials, 2016, Sep 101:272-284


Desired Partnerships:  

  • License
  • Co-development



Docket #  15-7243 



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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Melissa Kelly
Associate Director
University of Pennsylvania
Hyun Koo