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Tissue Eng Part A. 2008 Apr;14(4):549-57. doi: 10.1089/tea.2007.0227.

Accurately shaped tooth bud cell-derived mineralized tissue formation on silk scaffolds.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Based on the successful use of silk scaffolds in bone tissue engineering, we examined their utility for mineralized dental tissue engineering. Four types of hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) silk scaffolds-(250 and 550 microm diameter pores, with or without arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide) were seeded with cultured 4-day postnatal rat tooth bud cells and grown in the rat omentum for 20 weeks. Analyses of harvested implants revealed the formation of bioengineered mineralized tissue that was most robust in 550 microm pore RGD-containing scaffolds and least robust in 250 microm pore sized scaffolds without RGD. The size and shape of the silk scaffold pores appeared to guide mineralized tissue formation, as revealed using polarized light imaging of collagen fiber alignment along the scaffold surfaces. This study is the first to characterize bioengineered tissues generated from tooth bud cells seeded onto silk scaffolds and indicates that silk scaffolds may be useful in forming mineralized osteodentin of specified sizes and shapes.

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