Objective: To formulate and optimise stable caries removing gel using naturally extracted papain and clove, for non– invasive chemo–mechanical removal of dental caries. Methodology: Gel formulation was prepared using natural polymer such as pectin along with other excipients and optimized for desired level of papain activity and viscosity for effective application on carious tooth using 32 factorial design. Optimized formulation was evaluated for its physicochemical properties, in–vitro antibacterial activity and ex-vivo chemo-mechanical performance. Results: FTIR and DSC studies confirmed compatibility of papain with other excipients. Formulation with ratio of 2.5: 2.5: 0.225 pectin : propylene glycol : triethanolamine was found to give stable gel with viscosity of 7800cp, proteolytic activity of 91.64% with satisfactory in-vitro antibacterial activity and ex-vivo chemomechanical performance. Conclusion: Papain and clove containing chemo-mechanical caries removing gel can serve as potential alternative to other invasive caries removing techniques which will also reduce chances of microbial infection at the site of application with symptomatic pain relief.
Key words: Clove, Chemomechanical removal, Dental caries, ex-vivo performance, Papain.