3D-printed microgels supplemented with dentin matrix molecules as a novel biomaterial for direct pulp capping

Diana Cunha, Nayara Souza, Manuela Moreira, Nara Rodrigues, Paulo Silva, Cristiane Franca, Sivaporn Horsophonphong, Ashley Sercia, Ramesh Subbiah, Anthony Tahayeri, Jack Ferracane, Pamela Yelick, Vicente Saboia, Luiz Bertassoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: To develop a 3D-printed, microparticulate hydrogel supplemented with dentin matrix molecules (DMM) as a novel regenerative strategy for dental pulp capping. Materials and methods: Gelatin methacryloyl microgels (7% w/v) mixed with varying concentrations of DMM were printed using a digital light projection 3D printer and lyophilized for 2 days. The release profile of the DMM-loaded microgels was measured using a bicinchoninic acid assay. Next, dental pulp exposure defects were created in maxillary first molars of Wistar rats. The exposures were randomly capped with (1) inert material − negative control, (2) microgels, (3) microgels + DMM 500 µg/ml, (4) microgels + DMM 1000 µg/ml, (5) microgels + platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF 10 ng/ml), or (6) MTA (n = 15/group). After 4 weeks, animals were euthanized, and treated molars were harvested and then processed to evaluate hard tissue deposition, pulp tissue organization, and blood vessel density. Results: All the specimens from groups treated with microgel + 500 µg/ml, microgel + 1000 µg/ml, microgel + PDGF, and MTA showed the formation of organized pulp tissue, tertiary dentin, newly formed tubular and atubular dentin, and new blood vessel formation. Dentin bridge formation was greater and pulp necrosis was less in the microgel + DMM groups compared to MTA. Conclusions: The 3D-printed photocurable microgels doped with DMM exhibited favorable cellular and inflammatory pulp responses, and significantly more tertiary dentin deposition. Clinical relevance: 3D-printed microgel with DMM is a promising biomaterial for dentin and dental pulp regeneration in pulp capping procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1225
Number of pages11
JournalClinical oral investigations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • 3D printing
  • Dental pulp capping
  • Dentin matrix components
  • Hydrogel
  • MTA
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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