Ex vivo engineering of artificial nerve conduit is a suitable alternative clinical treatment for nerve injuries. Stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHEDs) have been considered as alternative sources of adult stem cells because of their potential to differentiate into multiple cell lineages. These cells, when cultured in six-well plates, exhibited a spindle fibroblastic morphology, whereas those under a dynamic culture aggregated into neurosphere-like clusters in the chitosan conduit. In this study, we confirmed that SHEDs efficiently express the neural stem cell marker nestin, the early neural cell marker β-III-tubulin, the late neural marker neuron-specific enolase and the glial cell markers glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase). The three-dimensional chitosan conduit and dynamic culture system generated fluid shear stress and enhanced nutrient transfer, promoting the differentiation of SHEDs to neural cells. In particular, the gene expressions of GFAP and CNPase increased by 28- and 53-fold, respectively. This study provides evidence for the dynamic culture of SHEDs during ex vivo neural differentiation and demonstrates its potential for cell therapy in neurological diseases. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.