Objectives: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural constituent of connective tissues and plays an important role in their development, maintenance, and regeneration. Recently, HA has been shown to improve wound healing. However, no basic in vitro study to date has investigated its mode of action. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine morphological changes of dentin surfaces following HA coating and thereafter investigate the influence of periodontal ligament (PDL) cell survival, attachment, and spreading to dentin discs.
Materials and methods: HA was coated onto dentin discs utilizing either non-cross-linked (HA) or cross-linked (HA cl) delivery systems. Morphological changes to dentin discs were then assessed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Thereafter, human PDL cells were seeded under three in vitro conditions including (1) dilution of HA (1:100), (2) dilution of HA (1:10), and (3) HA coated directly to dentin discs. Samples were then investigated for PDL cell survival, attachment, and spreading using a live/dead assay, cell adhesion assay, and SEM imaging, respectively.
Results: While control dentin discs demonstrated smooth surfaces both at low and high magnification, the coating of HA altered surface texture of dentin discs by increasing surface roughness. HA cl further revealed greater surface texture/roughness likely due to the cross-linking carrier system. Thereafter, PDL cells were seeded on control and HA coated dentin discs and demonstrated a near 100 % survival rate for all samples demonstrating high biocompatibility of HA at dilutions of both 1:100 and 1:10. Interestingly, non-cross-linked HA significantly increased cell numbers at 8 h, whereas cross-linked HA improved cell spreading as qualitatively assessed by SEM.
Conclusions: The results from the present study demonstrate that both carrier systems for HA were extremely biocompatible and demonstrated either improved cell numbers or cell spreading onto dentin discs. Future in vitro and animal research is necessary to further characterize the optimal delivery system of HA for improved clinical use.
Clinical relevance: HA is a highly biocompatible material that may improve PDL cell attachment or spreading on dentin.
Keywords: Connective tissue regeneration; Growth factors; Hyaluronan; Periodontal regeneration; Soft tissue regeneration; Wound healing.