Human Ectomesenchymal Cells from Oral Bone Chips: An Improved Strategy for Dental Implant Anchorage

Maura De Simone (MSc Applied Biology)

With growing age, there is an increased need for dental replacement. For this in the past autologous bone grafts from the hip were successfully used for implant anchorage. However, the isolation of such bone grafts is painful and requires an additional invasive surgical procedure.

Also a huge range of various artificial materials alternatively could be used. Unfortunately, these cause other kinds of difficulties, such as inflammation and rejection. In order to overcome these problems, dental bone chips offer a promising new option. These cells provide a valuable source for putative adult ectomesenchymal stem cells, which might give rise to bone cells without the problems mentioned above.

However the amount and distribution of the contained living cells in the bone chips have never been assessed in detail. This research project focuses on the characterization of these cells contained in the bone chips of the jaw and on their specific lineage commitment towards osteoblasts.

The isolated cells belong to four different groups, cortical and spongious bone with and without antibiotic treatment of the patients, which shall be compared with each other in order to clarify differences in cell viability and osteogenic potential.

After the successful isolation of primary cells they have to be tested for their characteristics to confirm their potency as stem or precursor cells. Futhermore, their differentiation capacity in osteogenic medium has to be evaluated with a specific staining method (Alizarin Red) and specific markers via RT-PCR.

The results of this project will help to enlighten the mechanisms of oral regeneration and improve implant anchorage in the future.