In the present study, the growth of a single isolate of Candida albicans on saliva-, serum-coated or protein free (uncoated), thermocycled (4-70°C for 1 min, respectively; 0, 1000 and 10 000 times) 15 commercial maxillofacial materials was investigated, by monitoring pH changes in growth media. The inhibitory effect of the tissue conditioners on fungal growth was analysed using three parameters viz: (i) delay in the onset of the rapid decline in pH (ii) reduction in the rate of pH change and (iii) the pH minima reached. In the case of control materials (non-thermocycled and uncoated), significant antifungal effect was observed with two products. However, the antifungal effect of the materials was significantly reduced both by thermal cycling (Analysis of covariance [ANOVA]; P < 0.01) and a layer of protein coating (saliva, P < 0.05; serum, P < 0.01). When the interrelation between three parameters of fungal growth and the surface hydrophobicity of the materials were analysed, minimum pH of fungal growth on 10 000-thermocycled materials correlated well with the contact angles of the materials (Student t-test, P < 0.01), suggesting that thermocycling process reduced the unpolymerized components of the materials which showed the antifungal effects, resulted in that the cell growth depends on the surface hydrophobicity of the specimens. These results, taken together, suggest that the ageing of the materials and the biological fluids of the host enhanced the fungal growth on maxillofacial materials.
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