Dental Pulp Stem Cell (DPSC) Isolation, Characterization, and Differentiation

  • Federico FerroEmail author
  • Renza Spelat
  • Chelsea S. Baheney
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1210)


Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) have been proposed as an alternative to pluripotent stem cells to study multilineage differentiation in vitro and for therapeutic application. Standard culture media for isolation and expansion of stem cells includes animal sera or animal-derived matrix components (e.g., Matrigel®). However, animal-derived reagents raise significant concerns with respect to the translational ability of these cells due to the possibility of infection and/or severe immune reaction. For these reasons clinical grade substitutes to animal components are needed in order for stem cells to reach their full therapeutic potential. In this chapter we detail a method for isolation and proliferation of DPSC in a chemically defined medium containing a low percentage of human serum. We demonstrate that in this defined culture medium a 1.25 % human serum component sufficiently replaces fetal bovine serum. This method allows for isolation of a morphologically and phenotypically uniform population of DPSCs from dental pulp tissue. DPSCs represent a rapidly proliferating cell population that readily differentiates into the osteoblastic, neuronal, myocytic, and hepatocytic lineages. This multilineage capacity of these DPSCs suggests that they may have a more broad therapeutic application than lineage-restricted adult stem cell populations such as mesenchymal stem cells. Further the culture protocol presented here makes these cells more amenable to human application than current expansion techniques for other pluripotent stem cells (embryonic stem cell lines or induced pluripotent stem cells).

Key words

Dental pulp stem cells Adult stem cells Clinical grade Cell isolation Proliferation Embryonic stem cells Multipotential capacity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Ferro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Renza Spelat
    • 2
  • Chelsea S. Baheney
    • 1
  1. 1.Orthopaedic Trauma InstituteUniversity of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH)San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of California DavisDavisUSA

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