The aim of this study was the fabrication and evaluation of a novel bioactive and bactericidal material, which could have applications in dentistry by supporting tissue regeneration and killing oral bacteria. Our hypothesis was that a new scaffold for pulp-dentin tissue engineering with enhanced antibacterial activity could be obtained by associating extracellular matrix derived from porcine bladder with an antibacterial bioactive glass. Our study combines in vitro approaches and ectopic implantation in scid mice. The novel material was fabricated by incorporating a sol-gel derived silver (Ag)-doped bioactive glass (BG) in a natural extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogel in ratio 1:1 in weight % (Ag-BG/ECM). The biological properties of the Ag-BG/ECM were evaluated in culture with dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). In particular, cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, stem cells markers profile, and cell differentiation potential were studied. Furthermore, the antibacterial activity against Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus casei was measured. Moreover, the capability of the material to enhance pulp/dentin regeneration in vivo was also evaluated. Our data show that Ag-BG/ECM significantly enhances DPSCs’ proliferation, it does not affect cell morphology and stem cells markers profile, protects cells from apoptosis, and enhances in vitro cell differentiation and mineralisation potential as well as in vivo dentin formation. Furthermore, Ag-BG/ECM strongly inhibits S. mutans and L. casei growth suggesting that the new material has also anti-bacterial properties. This study provides foundation for future clinical applications in dentistry. It could potentially advance the currently available options of dental regenerative materials.
- Ag-doped bioactive glass
- Antibacterial activity
- Biological properties
- Dental pulp stem cells
- Natural extracellular matrix hydrogel