Engineering New Vasculature Could Revolutionize Root Canal Surgery Interview with:
Avathamsa Athirasala, MSE and
Luiz E. Bertassoni, DDS PhD

Biomaterials and Biomechanics, School of Dentistry
Center for Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine
Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
Portland OR 97201 USA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Current clinical practices for root canal treatment involve replacing the damaged tissue with inert, synthetic materials. While these procedures are able to arrest infection and decay in the tooth, they do not restore its biological function causing it to become weaker and more prone to fractures.

We are focused on the regeneration of pulp tissue instead and in this study, we have developed a strategy to apply tissue-engineering concepts to engineer dental pulp-like tissue constructs, complete with blood vessels, which can, in principle, integrate with existing vasculature when introduced at the site of injury and form healthy pulp tissue. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: The method we propose could revolutionize clinical practices for the treatment of root canals. Our approach of having “built in” vasculature in the engineered tissue can go a long way towards successful engraftment and regeneration of dental pulp tissue. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We are in the process of conducting further studies in animals to test the feasibility of this method for clinical applications and hope to progress to clinical trials. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study was funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health and by the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Avathamsa Athirasala, Fernanda Lins, Anthony Tahayeri, Monica Hinds, Anthony J. Smith, Christine Sedgley, Jack Ferracane, Luiz E. Bertassoni. A Novel Strategy to Engineer Pre-Vascularized Full-Length Dental Pulp-like Tissue Constructs. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-02532-3

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice.

Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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