Hydroxyethyl Cellulose Promotes the Mucin Retention of Herbal Extracts Active against Streptococcus mutans

Shiri Livne, Sapir Simantov, Arkadi Rahmanov, Uziel Jeffet, Nir Sterer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Streptococcus mutans is considered a major cariogenic bacterium. Most anti-cariogenic dentifrices are limited by a short exposure time. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that adding a mucoadhesive agent to the formulation may increase its bioavailability and efficacy. We tested the effect of adding hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) to an herbal extract solution containing lavender, echinacea, sage, and mastic gum, which have been previously shown to be effective against Streptococcus mutans. Mucin-coated wells were treated with four test solutions: saline, herbal extracts, herbal extracts with HEC, and chlorhexidine. The wells were incubated with Streptococcus mutans and studied for biofilm formation (Crystal violet assay), acid production (lactate assay), acid tolerance (ATPase assay), and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production using fluorescent microscopy. The results showed that the addition of HEC to the herbal extract solution caused a significant reduction in Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation, lactic acid production, and EPS quantity (p < 0.001). These results suggest that HEC may be a beneficial added excipient to herbal extracts in an anti-cariogenic formulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4652
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Streptococcus mutans
  • extracellular polysaccharide
  • hydroxyethyl cellulose


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