Human dental pulp stem cells: from biology to clinical applications

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Abstract

Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) can be found within the “cell rich zone” of dental pulp. Their embryonic origin, from neural crests, explains their multipotency. Up to now, two groups have studied these cells extensively, albeit with different results. One group claims that these cells produce a “dentin-like tissue”, whereas the other research group has demonstrated that these cells are capable of producing bone, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, it has been reported that these cells can be easily cryopreserved and stored for long periods of time and still retain their multipotency and bone-producing capacity. Moreover, recent attention has been focused on tissue engineering and on the properties of these cells: several scaffolds have been used to promote 3-D tissue formation and studies have demonstrated that DPSCs show good adherence and bone tissue formation on microconcavity surface textures. In addition, adult bone tissue with good vascularization has been obtained in grafts. These results enforce the notion that DPSCs can be used successfully for tissue engineering. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 312B:408–415, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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