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In vitro response of dental stem cells on decellularized extracellular matrix-derived hydrogels
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1  Department of Bioengineering and iBB - Institute of Bioengineeringand Biosciences, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa
Academic Editor: Roger Narayan


Periodontitis is an infectious inflammatory disease that damages the tissues supporting the tooth, causing tooth loss due to bone resorption and lack of bone stability. Periodontal regeneration remains a challenge due to the complex and well-arranged structure of the periodontium, which comprises the cementum, alveolar bone and periodontal ligament. Current clinical techniques yield variable and unpredictable outcomes and cannot regenerate all the periodontal tissues, including hard tissues (cementum and alveolar bone) and soft tissues (periodontal ligament). Hydrogels are highly hydrophilic polymeric networks that can simulate the native microenvironment of cells. Thus, hydrogels are suitable candidates for periodontal regeneration due to their capacity to interact with both soft and hard tissues, as well as to conform to the 3D defect through minimal invasion procedures.

Cell-derived decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) has been reported as a promising biomaterial for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine applications, since dECM derived from cells can recreate cellular niches and model cellular functions, mimicking the composition and structure of the native microenvironment. In this work, collagen hydrogels were developed by incorporating lyophilized cell-derived dECM and their effects on the proliferation and osteogenic/periodontal differentiation of dental stem cells were evaluated. Overall, our results confirmed the beneficial effect of dECM-derived hydrogels in proliferation and periodontal differentiation of dental stem cells. These results suggest that the novel dECM technology might represent a potential approach to achieve complete periodontal regeneration.

Keywords: Hydrogels , decellularized extracellular matrix, periodontium, dental stem cells