TRUSTEES OF TUFTS COLLEGE INC
This Competitive Revision Application is being submitted in response to Notice Number (NOT-OD-09-058) and Notice Title: NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications, with respect to the Parent Grant R01DE16132, "Dental stem cells and tooth tissue engineering". The ultimate goal of this research project is to develop novel biologically based, dental and craniofacial skeletal repair and regeneration therapies in humans. We hypothesize that improved knowledge of tissue engineering strategies to reliably generate mineralized dental and craniofacial tissues of predictable size and shape, will result in the development of novel and effective, clinically relevant therapies for humans. To address this hypothesis, in the studies proposed here we will characterize 1) naturally formed third molar wisdom tooth extracellular matrix (ECM) components and organization, and 2) also examine the use of two novel hydrogel scaffolds, using both in vitro and in vivo approaches, to expand the original aims of the Parent Grant. These studies will be performed in collaboration with two new collaborators. Our novel approach to tooth repair and regeneration, using human DSCs, and state of the art scaffold fabrication methods, combined with our extensive expertise in Developmental Biology and Tissue Engineering, have the potential to provide new and improved, biologically based repair and regeneration strategies, using autologous tissues. The successful accomoplishment of the proposed studies would dramatically alter the field of dentistry as it currently exists, extending clinically relevant dental repair therapies to include biologically based dental materials with properties closely matching those of naturally formed dental tissues.