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J Biomater Appl. 2014 Mar;28(7):1069-78. doi: 10.1177/0885328213495903. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Mineralized polycaprolactone nanofibrous matrix for odontogenesis of human dental pulp cells.

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1Department of Maxillofacial Tissue Regeneration, School of Dentistry and Research Center for Tooth and Periodontal Regeneration (MRC), Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The aim of the present study was to fabricate mineralized polycaprolactone nanofibrous scaffold and investigate its ability to elicit odontogenic differentiation of human dental pulp cells, compared to the pure polycaprolactone scaffold. Polycaprolactone nanofibrous scaffold was produced by electrospinning, and the surface was mineralized with apatite. Cellular behaviors on the mineralized polycaprolactone scaffold were assessed in terms of cell adhesion, growth, and odontoblastic differentiation. To evaluate the signal transduction of human dental pulp cells, mRNA expression was analyzed and Western blotting was performed. Mineralized polycaprolactone showed improved cell proliferation, mineralized nodule formation, and expression of odontoblastic marker genes including alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, osteocalcin, dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), and dentin matrix protein-1, as compared with pure polycaprolactone. Although the cell adhesion on the mineralized polycaprolactone was similar to that of the polycaprolactone, the expression level of proteins including collagen type I and the key adhesion receptor (integrin components α1, α2, and β1) was upregulated in mineralized polycaprolactone compared to polycaprolactone. Especially, cells seeded onto mineralized polycaprolactone scaffolds showed significantly increased levels of phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase, a marker of integrin activation, and downstream pathways, such as phosphor (p)-Akt, p-extracellular signal regulated kinase, p-c Jun N-terminal kinase, nuclear factor-kappa B, c-fos, and c-jun, compared with pure polycaprolactone. The mineralized polycaprolactone scaffold is attractive for dentin tissue engineering by promoting growth and odontogenic differentiation of human dental pulp cells through the integrin-mediated signaling pathway.


Polycaprolactone; dental pulp cells; integrin pathway; nanofiber; odontogenic differentiation

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