In Vivo Periodontium Formation Around Titanium Implants Using Periodontal Ligament Cell Sheet

Tissue Eng Part A. 2018 Aug;24(15-16):1273-1282. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2017.0405. Epub 2018 Apr 10.


Osseointegrated implants have been recognized as being very reliable and having long-term predictability. However, host defense mechanisms against infection have been known to be impaired around a dental implant because of the lack of a periodontal ligament (PDL). The purpose of our experimental design was to produce cementum and PDL on the implant surface adopting cell sheet technology. To this aim we used PDL-derived cells, which contain multipotential stem cells, as the cell source and we cultured them on an implant material constituted of commercially pure titanium treated with acid etching, blasting, and a calcium phosphate (CaP) coating to improve cell attachment. Implants with adhered human PDL cell sheets were transplanted into bone defects in athymic rat femurs as a xenogeneic model. Implants with adhered canine PDL-derived cell sheets were transplanted into canine mandibular bone as an autologous model. We confirmed that PDL-derived cells cultured with osteoinductive medium had the ability to induce cementum formation. The attachment of PDL cells onto the titanium surface with three surface treatments was accelerated, compared with that onto the smooth titanium surface, at 40 min after starting incubation. Results in the rat model showed that cementum-like and PDL-like tissue was partly observed on the titanium surface with three surface treatments in combination with adherent PDL-derived cell sheets. On the other hand, osseointegration was observed on almost all areas of the smooth titanium surface that had PDL-derived cell sheets, but did not have the three surface treatments. In the canine model, histological observation indicated that formation of cementum-like and PDL-like tissue was induced on the titanium surface with surface treatments and that the PDL-like tissue was perpendicularly oriented between the titanium surface with cementum-like tissue and the bone. Results demonstrate that a periodontal-like structure was formed around a titanium implant, which is similar to the environment existing around a natural tooth. The clinical application of dental implants combined with a cell sheet technique may be feasible as an alternative implant therapy. Furthermore, application of this methodology may play an innovative role in the periodontal, prosthetic, and orthodontic fields in dentistry.

Keywords: cell transplantation; dental implants; peri-implantitis; periodontium; regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone-Anchored Prosthesis*
  • Bone-Implant Interface*
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous*
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dogs
  • Heterografts
  • Male
  • Periodontal Ligament* / cytology
  • Periodontal Ligament* / transplantation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Nude
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium*


  • Dental Implants
  • Titanium