Wolfoviz-Zilberman, A., Houri-Haddad, Y., Beyth, N. 2021. A novel dental caries model replacing, refining, and reducing animal sacrifice. Applied Sciences 11(15), 7141.

In vitro and in vivo models simulating the dental caries process enable the evaluation of anti-caries modalities for prevention and treatment. Animal experimentation remains important for improving human and animal health. Nonetheless, reducing animal sacrifice for research is desirable. The aim of the study was to establish a new reproducible in vitro caries model system and compare it to an in vivo model using similar conditions. Hemi-mandibles were extracted from previously euthanized healthy 10-week-old BALB/C female mice. Jaws were subjected to saliva, high-sucrose diet, and dental caries bacteria Streptococcus mutans UA159 for 5 days. Similar caries induction protocol was used in vivo in fifteen BALB/c female mice (6–7 weeks old) and compared to the in vitro model. Caries lesions were assessed clinically by photographic analysis and µCT analysis, and bacterial growth was evaluated. Under in vitro experimental conditions, carious lesions evolved within 5 days, prominently in the depth of the occlusal fissures in the control group as depicted by photographic analysis, µCT analysis, and bacterial growth. The developed in vitro caries model presented in this study may be a novel animal sparing model for caries disease studies and can be used widely to evaluate the efficacy of different antibacterial dental materials.

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