Perspectives for Cell-homing Approaches to Engineer Dental Pulp

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Sufficient proof is available today to demonstrate that dental pulp tissue engineering is possible. The body of evidence was generated mainly on cell transplantation; however, because of several severe problems afflicted with this approach, it might not be feasible for a clinical setting in the near future. More recently, cell homing has been proposed as a viable alternative. We suggest a modification of the tissue engineering paradigm, where resident cells are attracted by endogenous, dentin-derived growth factors that further induce cell proliferation and differentiation and a bioactive scaffold material laden with these growth factors that serves as a template for tissue formation. This article highlights the latest developments regarding scaffold materials, stem cells, and dentin-derived growth factors specifically for a cell-homing approach to engineer dental pulp and summarizes new ideas.

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