Indexed on: 16 Dec '20Published on: 15 Dec '20Published in: ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering
Mammalian teeth primarily consist of two distinct calcified tissues, enamel and dentin, that are intricately integrated by a complex and critical structure, the dentin-enamel junction (DEJ). Loss of enamel exposes the underlying dentin, increasing the risk of several irreversible dental diseases. This paper highlights the significance of utilizing the functional domains of a major enamel matrix protein, amelogenin, intrinsic to tooth enamel and the DEJ interface, to rationally design smaller bioinspired peptides for regeneration of tooth microstructures. Using this strategy, we designed a synthetic peptide, P26, that demonstrates a remarkable dual mineralization potential to restore incipient enamel decay and mineralization defects localized in peripheral dentin below the DEJ. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that interaction between P26 and collagen prompts peptide self-assembly, followed by mineralization of collagen fibrils . P26-mediated nucleation of hydroxyapatite (HAP) crystals on demineralized dentin significantly facilitates the recovery of mineral density and effectively restores the biomechanical properties of dentin to near-native levels, suggesting that P26-based therapy has promising applications for treating diverse mineralized tissue defects in the tooth.