In stem cell-based dental tissue engineering, the goal is to create tooth-like structures using scaffold materials to guide the dental stem cells. In this study, the effect of fiber alignment and hydroxyapatite content in biodegradable electrospun PLGA scaffolds have been investigated. Fiber orientation of the scaffolds was random or aligned in bundles. For scaffolds with prefabricated orientation, scaffolds were fabricated from PLGA polymer solution containing 0, 10 or 20 % nano-hydroxyapatite. The scaffolds were seeded with porcine cells isolated from tooth buds (dental mesenchymal, dental epithelial, and mixed dental mesenchymal/epithelial cells). Samples were collected at 1, 3 and 6 weeks. Analyses were performed for cell proliferation, ALP activity, and cell morphology. Fiber alignment showed an effect on cell orientation in the first week after cell seeding, but had no long-term effect on cell alignment or organized calcified matrix deposition once the cells reach confluency. Scaffold porosity was sufficient to allow migration of mesenchymal cells. Hydroxyapatite incorporation did not have a positive effect on cell proliferation, especially of epithelial cells, but seemed to promote differentiation. Concluding, scaffold architecture is important to mesenchymal cell morphology, but has no long-term effect on cell alignment or organized ECM deposition. nHA incorporation does have an effect on cell proliferation, differentiation and ECM production, and should be regarded as a bioactive component of dental bioengineered scaffolds.
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We would like to acknowledge the support received from the Radboud University (EHCVM), and NIH/NIDCR grant DE016132-06 (PCY).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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