Alexandria, VA, USA – At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Alen Blagajcevic, student at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass., presented an oral session titled “Bioengineered Tooth Bud Model Functionalized With Decellularized Tooth Bud ECM.” The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.
Researchers aimed to create 3D bioengineered tooth buds to serve as a biologically based replacement tooth alternative to current dental implants. Gelatin Methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel can be used to encapsulate postnatal dental stem cells (DSC) and support odontogenic differentiation and mineralized tissue formation.
Blagajcevic’s work is done under the direction of Pamela Yelick, Ph.D., professor of orthodontics and director of the division of craniofacial and molecular genetics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, whose research has long-focused on creating biological-tooth replacements.
“To enhance enamel and dentin matrix production, we have created functionalized bioengineered GelMA tooth buds with decellularized tooth bud extracellular matrix (dTB ECM)” said Alen Blagajcevic. “The Yelick lab at Tufts had previously determined that dTBs retain ECM components known to play important roles in dental cell proliferation, differentiation, and tooth morphogenesis. Upon in vivo implantation, cell-seeded dTB scaffolds formed whole tooth structures. In this study, we introduced lyophilized dTB ECM to our bioengineered GelMA tooth bud model.” “We found that dTB ECM powder can be used to enhance DSC differentiation in GelMA tooth bud constructs,” said Alen Blagajcevic. “These promising but preliminary results suggest that dTB ECM can be used to enhance dental stem cells DSC proliferation and differentiation, advancing the GelMA tooth bud model towards future clinical applications.” The Yelick Lab at Tufts is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health (award numbers R01DE026731 and R01 DE016132, both to PCY).