Abstract: Bone regeneration and bone fixation strategies in dentistry utilize scaffolds containing regenerating-competent cells as a replacement of the missing bone portions and gradually replaced by autologous tissues. Mesenchymal stem cells represent an ideal cell population for scaffold-based tissue engineering. Among them, dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and periosteal stem cells (PeSCs) have the potential to differentiate into a variety of cell types including osteocytes, suggesting that they can be used with this purpose. However, data on bone regeneration properties of these types of cells in scaffold-based tissue engineering are yet insufficient.
In this study, we evaluated temporal dynamic bone regeneration (measured as a percentage of bone volume on the total area of the defect) induced by DPSCs or PeSCs when seeded with different scaffolds to fill critical calvarial defects in SCID Beige nude mice. Two commercially available scaffolds (granular deproteinized bovine bone with 10% porcine collagen and granular β;-tricalcium phosphate) and one not yet introduced on the market (a sponge of agarose and nanohydroxyapatite) were used. The results showed that tissue-engineered constructs did not significantly improve bone-induced regeneration process when compared with the effect of scaffolds alone. In addition, the data also showed that the regeneration induced by β;-tricalcium phosphate alone was higher after 8 weeks than that of scaffold seeded with the 2 stem cell lines. Altogether these findings suggest that further studies are needed to evaluate the potential of DPSCs and PeSCs in tissue construct and identify the appropriate conditions to generate bone tissue in critical-size defects.