Engineering dental pulp-like tissue in vitro


Mooney DJ, Powell C, Piana J, Rutherford B. Engineering dental pulp-like tissue in vitro. Biotechnol Prog. 1996;12 (6) :865-8.

Date Published:

1996 Nov-Dec


Injury or infection of adult dental pulp often necessitates root canal therapy. This terminates dentin formation and subsequent tooth maturation. In addition, the synthetic materials currently utilized to replace lost tooth structure are not capable of completely replacing the function of the lost tissue, and often fail over time. This report describes a technique to engineer new pulp-like tissues utilizing cultured cells and synthetic extracellular matrices. Fibroblasts were obtained from human adult dental pulps and multiplied in culture. These cells were subsequently seeded onto synthetic matrices fabricated from fibers (approximately 15 microns in diameter) of polyglycolic acid (PGA). The pulp-derived fibroblasts adhered to the fibers, proliferated, and formed a new tissue over 60 days in culture with a cellularity similar to that of native pulp. These tissues may find application in the regeneration of oral tissues and may provide novel systems in which to study the biocompatibility of materials and chemicals used in dentistry.
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