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Arch Oral Biol. 2013 Dec;58(12):1818-27. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2013.08.011. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

Dental pulp stem cells for in vivo bone regeneration: a systematic review of literature.

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Dental Research Center, Research Institute of Dental Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



This review of literature was aimed to assess in vivo experiments which have evaluated the efficacy of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) for bone regeneration.


An electronic search of English-language papers was conducted on PubMed database. Studies that assessed the use of DPSCs in bone regeneration in vivo were included and experiments evaluating regeneration of hard tissues other than bone were excluded. The retrieved articles were thoroughly reviewed according to the source of stem cell, cell carrier, the in vivo experimental model, defect type, method of evaluating bone regeneration, and the obtained results. Further assessment of the results was conducted by classifying the studies based on the defect type.


Seventeen papers formed the basis of this systematic review. Sixteen out of 17 experiments were performed on animal models with mouse and rat being the most frequently used animal models. Seven out of 17 animal studies, contained subcutaneous pockets on back of the animal for stem cell implantation. In only one study hard tissue formation was not observed. Other types of defects used in the retrieved studies, included cranial defects and mandibular bone defects, in all of which bone formation was reported.


When applied in actual bone defects, DPSCs were capable of regenerating bone. Nevertheless, a precise conclusion regarding the efficiency of DPSCs for bone regeneration is yet to be made, considering the limited number of the in vivo experiments and the heterogeneity within their methods.


Dental pulp stem cell; Maxillofacial bone regeneration; Osteoblastic differentiation

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