Methacrylate monomers are major components of resin-based biomaterials. The polymerization of these materials is never complete, and methacrylates leaking from cured materials cause exposure of patients. Only some selected methacrylates have thoroughly been tested for possible interaction with living cells. In the current study, we compared the effects of 2-hydroxyethyl-methacrylate (HEMA; a carefully studied methacrylate) and hydroxypropyl-methacrylate (HPMA; a scarcely investigated methacrylate). Five cell lines differing in both source and cell type were used.
The cells were exposed to methacrylates (1-8 mM). Cell viability, cell death, glutathione levels, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and cell growth pattern were measured.
Both methacrylates reduced cell viability, and glutathione depletion was observed in all cell lines. The cell death pattern varied among the cell lines. The ROS levels and cell growth pattern also differed between the cell lines after exposure to methacrylate monomers. No difference between HEMA and HPMA exposures were observed in any of the cell lines.
The variation between cell lines shows that the measured methacrylate toxicity depends heavily on the test system chosen. Further, the conformity between HEMA and HPMA effects suggests that the two methacrylates similarly affect living cells.

In Vitro Effects of Dental Monomer Exposure – Dependence on the Cell Culture Model
Morisbak E, Uvsløkk S, Samuelsen JT
Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 June2;104906
doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2020.104906