Dental handpiece contamination: a proteomics and surface analysis approach

Andrew Smith, Gordon Smith, David F. Lappin, Helen C. Baxter, Anita Jones, Robert Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Dental handpieces (DHPs) become biofouled internally with patient derived material that is difficult to access for removal and inactivation. This study undertook a quantitative and qualitative investigation of protein contamination of internal components from three different types of DHP: the turbine, slow speed contra-angle and surgical. Eluates from the high speed turbine, low speed spray channels and surgical gear were assayed for protein using an orthophthaldehyde assay. Eluates concentrated by Amicon ultrafiltration were also analysed by SDS-PAGE, mass spectroscopy, Western blotting and ELISA. The surfaces of handpiece components were also investigated by SEM, EFSCAN and EDAX microscopy. Surgical gears contained highest levels of protein (403 μg), followed by low speed spray channels (17.7 μg) and the high speed turbine (<5 μg). Mass spectroscopy of surgical gears demonstrated mostly serum derived proteins. Decontamination of the DHPs using an automated washer disinfector and handpiece irrigator showed a significant reduction in residual protein levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
JournalBiofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research
Issue number1
Early online date21 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • dental handpiece
  • orthophthaldehyde
  • biofouling
  • proteomics
  • cleaning
  • cross-infection


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