Response of human dental pulp cells to a silver-containing PLGA/TCP-nanofabric as a potential antibacterial regenerative pulp-capping material

BMC Oral Health. 2017 Feb 27;17(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s12903-017-0348-7.


Background: Damage or exposure of the dental pulp requires immediate therapeutic intervention.

Methods: This study assessed the biocompatibility of a silver-containing PLGA/TCP-nanofabric scaffold (PLGA/Ag-TCP) in two in vitro models, i.e. the material adapted on pre-cultured cells and cells directly cultured on the material, respectively. Collagen saffolds with and without hyaluronan acid (Coll-HA; Coll) using both cell culturing methods and cells growing on culture plates served as reference. Cell viability and proliferation were assessed after 24, 48, and 72 h based on formazan formation and BrdU incorporation. Scaffolds were harvested. Gene expression of interleukin(IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and alkaline phosphatase (AP) was assessed 24 h after stimulation.

Results: In both models formazan formation and BrdU incorporation was reduced by PLGA/Ag-TCP on dental pulp cells, while no significant reduction was found in cells with Coll and Coll-HA. Cells with PLGA/Ag-TCP for 72 h showed similar relative BrdU incorporation than cells stimulated with Coll and Coll-HA. A prominent increase in the pro-inflammatory genes IL-6 and TNF-α was observed when cells were cultured with PLGA/Ag-TCP compared to the other groups. This increase was parallel with a slight increase in AP expression. Overall, no differences between the two culture methods were observed.

Conclusions: PLGA/Ag-TCP decreased viability and proliferation rate of human dental pulp cells and increased the pro-inflammatory capacity and alkaline phosphatase expression. Whether these cellular responses observed in vitro translate into pulp regeneration in vivo will be assessed in further studies.

Keywords: Capping; Dental pulp; In vitro techniques; Regeneration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorine / pharmacology
  • Collagen
  • Dental Pulp / cytology*
  • Dental Pulp / drug effects*
  • Dental Pulp / physiology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iodine / pharmacology
  • Lactic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Materials Testing
  • Nanofibers
  • Polyglycolic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Pulp Capping and Pulpectomy Agents / pharmacology*
  • Regeneration / drug effects
  • Salicylates / pharmacology
  • Silver / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Drug Combinations
  • Pulp Capping and Pulpectomy Agents
  • Salicylates
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Silver
  • Chlorine
  • TCP (antiseptic)
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Collagen
  • Iodine
  • Alkaline Phosphatase