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Research Shows Stem Cells Can Regenerate Pulp-Like Tissue

Photo Credit: pixologicstudio/iStock/Thinkstock
Photo Credit: pixologicstudio/iStock/Thinkstock

Using a novel delivery approach, researchers report successfully introducing stem cells to damaged dentinal roots and regenerating pulp-like tissue. The team from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston issued their findings in a paper, “GelMA Encapsulated hDPSCs and HUVECs for Dental Pulp Regeneration,” published online in the Journal of Dental Research.

As an alternative to conventional endodontic treatment, this therapy may promote pulp regeneration that allows teeth to function as they had in their former healthy state. Key to this approach is gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) — a cost-effective hydrogel derived from naturally occurring collagen. Using damaged human tooth roots implanted in mice, researchers sought to examine GelMA’s safety and efficacy when used as a scaffold to support the growth of pulp-like tissue. Noticeable growth of pulp-like tissue was reported after two weeks. By eight weeks, pulp-like tissue filled the entire pulp cavity — including blood vessels populated with red blood cells.

Although research is in its early stages, the team says this could be a viable strategy for restoring natural function in endodontically compromised teeth.

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