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.