Introduction: The dental pulp is highly vascularized and innervated tissue that is uniquely designed, being highly biologically active, while being enclosed within the calcified structure of the tooth. It is well-established that the dental pulp vasculature is a key requirement for the functional performance of the tooth. Therefore, controlled regeneration of the dental pulp vasculature is a challenge that must be met for future regenerative endeavors in endodontics. Methods: In this perspective review, we address recent progress and challenges on the use of microengineering methods and biomaterials scaffolds to fabricate the dental pulp vascular microenvironment. Results: The conditions required to control the growth and differentiation of vascular capillaries are discussed, together with the conditions required for the formation of mature and stable pericyte-supported microvascular networks in 3-dimensional hydrogels and fabricated microchannels. Recent biofabrication methods, such as 3-dimensional bioprinting and micromolding are also discussed. Moreover, recent advances in the field of organs-on-a-chip are discussed regarding their applicability to dental research and endodontic regeneration. Conclusion: Collectively, this short review offers future directions in the field that are presented with the objective of pointing toward successful pathways for successful clinical and translational strategies in regenerative endodontics, with especial emphasis on the dental pulp vasculature.
- 3D printing
- tooth on-a-chip, vascularization
ASJC Scopus subject areas