Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods

In vitro differentiation and mineralization of dental pulp stem cells on enamel-like fluorapatite surfaces.

PMID 22563788


Our previous studies have shown good biocompatibility of fluorapatite (FA) crystal surfaces in providing a favorable environment for functional cell-matrix interactions of human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and also in supporting their long-term growth. The aim of the current study was to further investigate whether this enamel-like surface can support the differentiation and mineralization of DPSCs, and, therefore, act as a potential model for studying the enamel/dentin interface and, perhaps, dentine/pulp regeneration in tooth tissue engineering. The human pathway-focused osteogenesis polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array demonstrated that the expression of osteogenesis-related genes of human DPSCs was increased on FA surfaces compared with that on etched stainless steel (SSE). Consistent with the PCR array, FA promoted mineralization compared with the SSE surface with or without the addition of a mineralization promoting supplement (MS). This was confirmed by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining, Alizarin red staining, and tetracycline staining for mineral formation. In conclusion, FA crystal surfaces, especially ordered (OR) FA surfaces, which mimicked the physical architecture of enamel, provided a favorable extracellular matrix microenvironment for the cells. This resulted in the differentiation of human DPSCs and mineralized tissue formation, and, thus, demonstrated that it may be a promising biomimetic model for dentin-pulp tissue engineering.