Indexed on: 01 Mar '14Published on: 01 Mar '14Published in: Acta Biomaterialia
Bioactive glass (BG) has been widely used in bone regeneration; however, reports on the biological effects of BG on dental pulp cells are rare. This study aims to investigate the effects of nanoscale BG (n-BG) on odontogenic differentiation and dentin formation of dental pulp cells and to compare these effects with those of microscale BG (m-BG). Human dental pulp cells (hDPCs) from third molars were cultured directly with m-BG and n-BG in vitro. The cell proliferation increased at 0.1mgml(-1) BG, which also had a chemotactic effect on hDPCs. The mineralization capacity and expression of odontogenic-related proteins and genes (dentin sialophosphoprotein, dentin matrix protein 1 and collagen type I) of hDPCs were significantly up-regulated under BG induction, and were particularly higher in the n-BG group than in the control group. m-BG and n-BG combined with pulp tissues were transplanted into the dorsum of immunodeficient mice to observe their biological effects on dental pulp cells in vivo. A continuous layer of dentin-like tissue with uniform thickness, a well-organized dentinal tubule structure and polarizing odontoblast-like cells aligned along it was generated upon the n-BG layer, whereas some irregular sporadic osteodentin-like mineralized tissues were observed in the control group. This study reveals that BG, especially n-BG, induces the odontogenic differentiation and dentin formation of dental pulp cells and may serve as a potential material for pulp repair and dentin regeneration.