Dental Stem Cell Engineering
Dental epithelial stem cells are required for continuous growth in the adult murine incisor. Previous studies have combined mesenchymal and epithelial cells to artificially recapitulate tooth development. However, little is known about the basic molecular makeup and minimal extracellular scaffolding necessary to maintain the epithelial stem cell population and induce differentiation. Recently it has been demonstrated that the extracellular microenvironment can guide and direct stem cell behavior. We endeavor to create a 3D scaffold to mimic the microenvironment of the dental stem cell niche.