Assessing the estrogenic activity of chemicals present in resin based dental composites and in leachates of commercially available composites using the ERα-CALUX bioassay

Imke Boonen, Siemon De Nys, Philippe Vervliet, Adrian Covaci, Kirsten L. Van Landuyt, Radu Corneliu Duca, Lode Godderis, Michael S. Denison, Marc Elskens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The biocompatibility of resin based dental composites has not yet been fully characterized even though certain monomers used in these composites are synthesized from Bisphenol A (BPA), a well-known estrogenic endocrine disruptor. As a result, they show structural relationship to BPA and can contain it as an impurity. Therefore, the estrogenic activity of 9 monomers, 2 photoinitiators, one photostabilizer and leachates of 4 commercially available composites was determined. Methods: The ERα-CALUX bioassay was used to determine both agonistic and antagonistic estrogenic activities of the pure compounds (BPA, BisDMA, BisGMA, BisEMA(3), BisEMA(6), BisEMA(10), TEGDMA, TCD-DI-HEA, BADGE, UDMA, HMBP, DMPA, CQ) and the leachates of cured composite disks. The leachates of 4 commercially available composites (Solitaire 2, Ceram.x Spectra ST, G-ænial Posterior and Filtek Supreme XTE) in water and 0.1 M NaOH (pH = 13, ‘worst-case scenario’) were tested for estrogenic activity (pooled leachates from 10 cured composite disks). Results: Agonistic estrogenic activity was found for the monomer BisDMA, the photostabilizer HMBP and photoinitiator DMPA. All leachates from the 4 tested composites showed significant agonistic estrogenic activity higher than the DMSO control, and the highest activity (potency and efficacy) was found for Solitaire 2, followed by Ceram.x Spectra ST. Furthermore, antagonistic estrogenic activity was found in the leachates from G-ænial Posterior. Significance: These results show that significant estrogenic activity was found in all leachates of the cured composite disks, and that this estrogenicity is most likely due to a mixture effect of multiple estrogenic compounds (including BPA, HMBP and DMPA). This indicates that further research into the endocrine activity of all the compounds that are present in these composites (even at low quantities) and their possible mixture effect is warranted to guarantee their safe use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1834-1844
Number of pages11
JournalDental Materials
Issue number12
Early online dateSep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded through a Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) project ( G089016N ). We would like to thank the manufacturers (3M ESPE, GC Europe, Kulzer and Dentsply) for providing the commercial composites. The VM7Luc4E2 cell line was developed by the University of California-Davis (USA) with funding from a Superfund Research Program grant ( ES04699 ) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Academy of Dental Materials

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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