OBJECTIVES To test the hypothesis that a material with higher water absorption than polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) could increase the yield of target molecules from exposed dentine.
METHODS In a series of standard tests, different cellulose membranes were compared to a PVDF counterpart for their ability to absorb water and release protein. In a subsequent randomized clinical trial, the cellulose material with the most favourable values was compared to PVDF regarding the levels of MMP-2 that could be collected from exposed dentine of healthy human teeth during filling replacement. MMP-2 levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data from the laboratory experiments were compared between materials using the appropriate parametric tests. The frequency of cases yielding quantifiable levels of MMP-2 was compared between materials by Fisher's exact test. The level of significance was set at 5%.
RESULTS The cellulose membrane with the largest pore size (12-15μm) absorbed significantly (P<0.05) more water than PVDF. It showed a protein release that was similar to that of PVDF, while the cellulose membranes with smaller pore size retained significantly more protein (P<0.05). Using the large-pore cellulose membrane, MMP-2 could be collected at a quantifiable level from the dentine of healthy teeth in 9 of 13 cases, compared to 1 of 13 with the PVDF membrane (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS Under the current conditions, a large-pore cellulose membrane yielded more of a molecule of diagnostic value compared to a standard PVDF membrane.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE Molecular diagnostics of dentinal fluid are hampered by low yields. In the current study, it was shown that cellulose membranes are more useful to collect MMP-2 from dentinal fluid than PVDF membranes.