Oregon Researchers Engineer 3D-Printed Blood Vessels that May Revolutionize Root Canals

Published by , June 16, 2017 12:00 pm

(OregonStateUniversity)  Root canals may cause teeth to become brittle and susceptible to fracture over time. Now researchers at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, have developed a 3D printing inspired process by which they can engineer new blood vessels in teeth, creating better long-term outcomes for patients and clinicians.
Led by principal investigator Luiz Bertassoni, D.D.S., Ph.D.,the process is based on the group’s previous work fabricating artificial capillaries to create blood vessels in the lab. They placed a fiber mold made of sugar molecules across the root canal of extracted human teeth and injected a gel-like material, similar to proteins found in the body, filled with dental pulp cells. The researchers removed the fiber to make a long microchannel in the root canal and inserted endothelial cells isolated from the interior lining of blood vessels. After seven days, dentin-producing cells proliferated near the tooth walls and artificial blood vessels formed inside the tooth.

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