A method to regenerate vascularized dental pulp for root canal dental therapy

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Current root canal therapies rely on removing necrotic tissue and filling the area with inert material, reducing vascularity in the dental pulp and overall health in the remaining tooth.  The laboratory of Dr. Luiz Bertassoni has developed a novel root canal treatment that features a hydrogel filling with a hollow central chamber, which can be seeded with endothelial cells and potentially promote vascularization after root canal. 


Technology Overview

The biological function of the dental pulp is primarily regulated via the vasculature; therefore, novel root canal strategies that allow for regeneration of vascularized pulp are critically necessary. Work from the laboratory of Dr. Luiz Bertassoni has led to a novel strategy to produce pulp-like hydrogel tissue constructs that facilitate vascularization in full-length root canals. A conical shaped polysaccharide-based material is inserted into the canal, followed by hydrogel filling of the space and polymerization (see Figure).  The polysaccharide cast can then be removed or dissolved, leaving behind a channel that can be filled with endothelial cells to form a blood vessel like structure. Compared to other endodontic approaches, this technology offers a more simplified biofabrication strategy that is compatible with short-term vasculature formation offering improved clinical outcomes.

Figure illustrating a normal root canal procedure (A), followed by insertion of the cast and hydrogel fixation (B), removal of the cast to reveal a microchannel (C) that can be seed with endothelial cells and allow for revascularization (D).  Longitudinal view of hydrogel loaded with green fluorescent microparticles showing the fabricated microchannel after being perfused with a red fluorescent microparticle solution (E).


Athirasala, A., Lins, F., Tahayeri, A. et al. A Novel Strategy to Engineer Pre-Vascularized Full-Length Dental Pulp-like Tissue Constructs. Sci Rep 7, 3323 (2017).


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lukaesko
Technology Development Manager
Oregon Health & Science University
Luiz Bertassoni
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