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Angiogenic hydrogels for dental pulp revascularization.

Angiogenesis is critical for tissue healing and regeneration. Promoting angiogenesis in materials implanted within dental pulp after pulpectomy is a major clinical challenge in endodontics. We demonstrate the ability of acellular self-assembling peptide hydrogels to create extracellular matrix mimetic architectures that guide in vivo development of neovasculature and tissue deposition. The hydrogels possess facile injectability, as well as sequence-level functionalizability. We explore the therapeutic utility of an angiogenic hydrogel to regenerate vascularized pulp-like soft tissue in a large animal (canine) orthotopic model. The regenerated soft tissue recapitulates key features of native pulp, such as blood vessels, neural filaments, and an odontoblast-like layer next to dentinal tubules. Our study establishes angiogenic peptide hydrogels as potent scaffolds for promoting soft tissue regeneration in vivo. A major challenge to endodontic tissue engineering is the lack of in situ angiogenesis within intracanal implants, especially after complete removal of the dental pulp. The lack of a robust vasculature in implants limit integration of matrices with the host tissue and regeneration of soft tissue. We demonstrate the development of an acellular material that promotes tissue revascularization in vivo without added growth factors, in a preclinical canine model of pulp-like soft-tissue regeneration. Such acellular biomaterials would facilitate pulp revascularization approaches in large animal models, and translation into human clinical trials. [Display omitted] [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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