This study aimed to evaluate the potential applications of polycaprolactone (PCL)/submicron bioactive glass (smBG) hybrid composites for pulp and dentin tissue regeneration.Methods:
PCL/smBG hybrid composites were made with novel monodispersive bioactive glass submicrospheres, and pure PCL and bioactive glass samples were used as controls. Surface characteristics were assessed by scanning electron microscopy. Crystalline apatite deposition in vitro was examined after incubation in simulated body fluid. Inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy was used to further analyze the concentration of Si ions released by the scaffolds. Cell adhesion and morphology of human dental pulp cells were observed by immunofluorescence staining. The proliferation and expression of odontogenic-related markers were subsequently investigated using the Cell Counting Kit-8 assay (Beyotime Institute of Biotechnology, Jiangsu, China), Western blotting, and real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Mineralization activity was assessed by alizarin red staining.Results:
Crystalline apatites were precipitated on the PCL/smBG hybrid and pure bioactive glass surfaces after incubation in vitro, and pure PCL did not exhibit precipitation. Surface deposition on PCL/smBG hybrids presented different topographies and was thicker than on pure bioactive glass scaffolds at a later stage. Human dental pulp cells had a significantly higher proliferation rate on the PCL/smBG hybrid than on the bioactive glass and PCL scaffolds. Furthermore, the integration of smBG into the hybrid scaffold significantly promoted the expression of markers for odontogenic differentiation. More mineralized nodules were generated in the PCL/smBG group than in the other 2 groups.Conclusions:
PCL/smBG hybrid composites may serve as potential material for pulp repair and dentin regeneration. The physical and chemical properties of the bioactive glass component affect the bioactivity of hybrid composites.