Polymeric Scaffolds Used in Dental Pulp Regeneration by Tissue Engineering Approach
Currently, the challenge in dentistry is to revitalize dental pulp by utilizing tissue engineering technology; thus, a biomaterial is needed to facilitate the process. One of the three essential elements in tissue engineering technology is a scaffold. A scaffold acts as a three-dimensional (3D) framework that provides structural and biological support and creates a good environment for cell activation, communication between cells, and inducing cell organization. Therefore, the selection of a scaffold represents a challenge in regenerative endodontics. A scaffold must be safe, biodegradable, and biocompatible, with low immunogenicity, and must be able to support cell growth. Moreover, it must be supported by adequate scaffold characteristics, which include the level of porosity, pore size, and interconnectivity; these factors ultimately play an essential role in cell behavior and tissue formation. The use of natural or synthetic polymer scaffolds with excellent mechanical properties, such as small pore size and a high surface-to-volume ratio, as a matrix in dental tissue engineering has recently received a lot of attention because it shows great potential with good biological characteristics for cell regeneration. This review describes the latest developments regarding the usage of natural or synthetic scaffold polymers that have the ideal biomaterial properties to facilitate tissue regeneration when combined with stem cells and growth factors in revitalizing dental pulp tissue. The utilization of polymer scaffolds in tissue engineering can help the pulp tissue regeneration process.