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    Hybrid chitosan/gelatin/nanohydroxyapatite (CS/Gel/nHA) scaffolds have attracted considerable interest in tissue engineering (TE) of mineralized tissues. The present study aimed to investigate the potential of CS/Gel/nHA scaffolds loaded with dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) to induce odontogenic differentiation and in vitro biomineralization. CS/Gel/nHA scaffolds were synthesized by freeze-drying, seeded with DPSCs, and characterized with flow cytometry. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), live/dead staining, and MTT assays were used to evaluate cell morphology and viability; real-time PCR for odontogenesis-related gene expression analysis; SEM-EDS (Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy), and X-ray Diffraction analysis (XRD) for structural and chemical characterization of the mineralized constructs, respectively. CS/Gel/nHA scaffolds supported viability and proliferation of DPSCs over 14 days in culture. Gene expression patterns indicated pronounced odontogenic shift of DPSCs, evidenced by upregulation of DSPP, BMP-2, ALP, and the transcription factors RunX2 and Osterix. SEM-EDS showed the production of a nanocrystalline mineralized matrix inside the cell-based and - to a lesser extent - the cell-free constructs, with a time-dependent production of net-like nanocrystals (appr. 25-30nm in diameter). XRD analysis gave the crystallite size (D=50nm) but could not distinguish between the initially incorporated and the biologically produced nHA. This is the first study validating the potential of CS/Gel/nHA scaffolds to support viability and proliferation of DPSCs, and to provide a biomimetic microenvironment favoring odontogenic differentiation and in vitro biomineralization without the addition of any inductive factors, including dexamethasone and/or growth/morphogenetic factors. These results reveal a promising strategy towards TE of mineralized dental tissues. Copyright © 2020 The Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Georgia Vagropoulou, Maria Trentsiou, Anthie Georgopoulou, Eleni Papachristou, Oleg Prymak, Aristeidis Kritis, Matthias Epple, Maria Chatzinikolaidou, Athina Bakopoulou, Petros Koidis. Hybrid chitosan/gelatin/nanohydroxyapatite scaffolds promote odontogenic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells and in vitro biomineralization. Dental materials : official publication of the Academy of Dental Materials. 2021 Jan;37(1):e23-e36

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    PMID: 33208264

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