UB receives grant to improve vital pulp therapy, a root canal treatment alternative

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UB receives grant to improve vital pulp therapy, a root canal treatment alternative

(Photo: Provided by the University of Buffalo)
Dental Tribune USA

Dental Tribune USA

Thu. 4 May 2023


University at Buffalo researcher Hacer Aksel has received a grant from the American Association of Endodontists’ Foundation for Endodontics to investigate a potential biomarker to support the success of vital pulp therapy, an alternative to root canal treatment that aims to preserve and maintain the healthy pulp tissue in damaged teeth.

The minimally invasive treatment is dependent on the inflammatory status and healing capacity of dental pulp. The enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, has been suggested as a potential biomarker for predicting these factors, but its effects on cellular functions remains unknown, says Aksel, clinical assistant professor of periodontics and endodontics in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

The research will investigate the effects of MMP-9 on multiple types of cells involved in the pulpal healing process, including dental pulp stem cells, inflammatory cells and endothelial cells — the cells that line blood vessels.

Findings from the study will aid the development of novel biomaterials for regenerative vital pulp therapies, says Aksel.

“This project will provide a basis for designing a new approach and treatment modality for vital pulp therapies,” says Aksel. “The long-term goal is to explore immunomodulatory hydrogel-based biomaterial to resolve pulpal inflammation while maintaining cellular functions to repair and regenerate the pulp-dentin complex during the treatment of deep caries. This novel approach may open new avenues to treat other MMP-associated inflammatory diseases.”

Editorial note:

About the University of Buffalo

The University at Buffalo is a premier, research-intensive public university and is New York’s flagship. UB’s more than 32,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities, which is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research and innovation.

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