Three-Dimensional Printed Multiphase Scaffolds for Regeneration of Periodontium Complex
Tooth-supporting periodontium forms a complex with multiple tissues, including cementum, periodontal ligament (PDL), and alveolar bone. In this study, we developed multiphase region-specific microscaffolds with spatiotemporal delivery of bioactive cues for integrated periodontium regeneration. Polycarprolactione-hydroxylapatite (90:10 wt%) scaffolds were fabricated using three-dimensional printing seamlessly in three phases: 100-μm microchannels in Phase A designed for cementum/dentin interface, 600-μm microchannels in Phase B designed for the PDL, and 300-μm microchannels in Phase C designed for alveolar bone. Recombinant human amelogenin, connective tissue growth factor, and bone morphogenetic protein-2 were spatially delivered and time-released in Phases A, B, and C, respectively. Upon 4-week in vitro incubation separately with dental pulp stem/progenitor cells (DPSCs), PDL stem/progenitor cells (PDLSCs), or alveolar bone stem/progenitor cells (ABSCs), distinctive tissue phenotypes were formed with collagen I-rich fibers especially by PDLSCs and mineralized tissues by DPSCs, PDLSCs, and ABSCs. DPSC-seeded multiphase scaffolds upon in vivo implantation yielded aligned PDL-like collagen fibers that inserted into bone sialoprotein-positive bone-like tissue and putative cementum matrix protein 1-positive/dentin sialophosphoprotein-positive dentin/cementum tissues. These findings illustrate a strategy for the regeneration of multiphase periodontal tissues by spatiotemporal delivery of multiple proteins. A single stem/progenitor cell population appears to differentiate into putative dentin/cementum, PDL, and alveolar bone complex by scaffold’s biophysical properties and spatially released bioactive cues.