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Study: Multi-Domain Peptides as Bioactive Scaffolds for Dental Tissue Engineering

Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014


Cape Town, South Africa – Friday at the 92nd General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Africa/Middle East Regional Meeting, Rena N. D’Souza, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA, presented a study titled “Multi-Domain Peptides as Bioactive Scaffolds for Dental Tissue Engineering.”

In recent years there has been increasing interest in developing novel bioactive materials that drive regeneration in diseased or injured oral tissues. Synthetic self-assembling multi-domain peptides (MDPs) have shown potential as dental tissue engineering scaffolds due to their unique handling properties and their tailorability to include bioactive sequences.

In this study, MDPs containing cell adhesive, enzyme cleavable and pro-angiogenic bioactive sequences were synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis. These peptides easily formed hydrogels by addition of polyvalent anions, such as phosphate. Physical properties of hydrogels have been characterized by rheology, demonstrating shear thinning and shear recovery. Cyto- and bio-compatibility assays using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivomodel systems have also been performed. Proteins and other bioactive factors can be easily incorporated into MDP hydrogels, allowing them to act as biodegradable delivery systems.

MDPs rapidly recover their viscoelastic properties after shearing, and can be injected into irregular defects. Populations of SHED cells seeded within MDP scaffolds expand and form complex cellular networks in culture. When placed in apposition to dental pulp, mandibular bone and periodontal ligament, in an ex vivo rat mandible slice, cell migration into the scaffold is seen over seven and 14 days. Dental pulp tissue, when exposed to injected MDP scaffolds ex vivo, maintains tissue architecture and vitality. Subcutaneous injection of bioactive MDP scaffolds results in cellular infiltration, neo-matrix formation and vascularization in a rat model.

The researchers found that self-assembling MDP scaffolds demonstrate promise for dental tissue engineering applications in in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo model systems.

This research was supported by U.S. NIH Grant 5R01DE021798 – 03.

This is a summary of abstract #789, “Multi-Domain Peptides as Bioactive Scaffolds for Dental Tissue Engineering,” to be presented by Rena N. D’Souza on Friday, June 27, 2014: 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in Ballroom West of the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

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