Magnesium-containing nanostructured hybrid scaffolds for enhanced dentin regeneration. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dental caries is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the United States, affecting 92% of adults aged 20-64 years. Scaffold-based tissue engineering represents a promising strategy to replace damaged dental structures and restore their biological functions. Current single-component scaffolding materials used for dental tissue regeneration, however, cannot provide the proper microenvironment for dental stem/progenitor cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation; new biomimetic hybrid scaffolds are needed to promote better dental tissue formation. In this work, we developed a biomimetic approach to prepare three-dimensional (3D) nanofibrous gelatin/magnesium phosphate (NF-gelatin/MgP) hybrid scaffolds. These scaffolds not only mimic the nanostructured architecture and the chemical composition of natural dentin matrices but also constantly present favorable chemical signals (Mg ions) to dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), thus providing a desirable microenvironment to facilitate DPSC proliferation, differentiation, and biomineralization. Synthesized hybrid NF-gelatin/MgP possesses natural extracellular matrix (ECM)-like architecture, high porosity, high pore interconnectivity, well-defined pore size, and controlled Mg ion release from the scaffold. Adding MgP into NF-gelatin also increased the mechanical strength of the hybrid scaffold. The sustained release of Mg ions from the NF-gelatin/MgP (MgP=10% wt/wt) scaffold significantly enhanced the proliferation, differentiation, and biomineralization of human DPSCs in vitro. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and the gene expressions for odontogenic differentiation (collagen I [Col I], ALP, osteocalcin [OCN], dentin sialophosphoprotein [DSPP], and dentin matrix protein 1 [DMP1]) were all significantly higher (p<0.05) in the NF-gelatin/MgP group than in the NF-gelatin group. Those results were further confirmed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and von Kossa staining, as shown by greater ECM secretion and mineral deposition in the hybrid scaffold. Consistent with the in vitro study, the DPSCs/NF-gelatin/MgP constructs produced greater ECM deposition, hard tissue formation, and expression of marker proteins (DSPP, DMP1, Col I) for odontogenic differentiation than did the DPSCs/NF-gelatin after 5 weeks of ectopic implantation in rude mice. The controlled release of metallic ions from biomimetic nanostructured hybrid scaffolds, therefore, is a promising approach to enhancing the biological capability of the scaffolds for dental tissue regeneration.

published proceedings

  • Tissue Eng Part A

author list (cited authors)

  • Qu, T., Jing, J., Jiang, Y., Taylor, R. J., Feng, J. Q., Geiger, B., & Liu, X.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

  • Qu, Tiejun||Jing, Junjun||Jiang, Yong||Taylor, Robert J||Feng, Jian Q||Geiger, Benjamin||Liu, Xiaohua

publication date

  • September 2014