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Protein based devices for oral tissue repair and regeneration

1 Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of Italy, Italy
2 Tissue Bioengineering Laboratory, DEPeI-FO, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México

Topical Section: Biomedical materials

In the last decades, a goal of tissue engineering has been devoted to the design of devices with multiple micro- or nano-structures and loaded with bioactive molecules, to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) so generating a conducive microenvironment for new tissue replacement/regeneration. The ECM, naturally, is composed of fibrous proteins which provide structural support for tissues, mainly regulating cells behavior in terms of proliferation, growth, survival, shape, migration and differentiation by cell-matrix interactions. Several studies have been just investigated the fabrication of different platforms for the regeneration of teeth, oral mucosa, salivary glands, bone, and periodontium. In this context, many proteins—from a natural or biological source—have been used as instructive substances to in vitro guide tissue organization and functions. In particular, new advances in the definition of protein-based formulations currently represent a great challenge to promote a more effective regeneration of dental tissues to be transplanted into patients to replace damaged, diseased or missing tissues. Hence, the purpose of this review is to discuss the use of protein-based systems for the regeneration of oral tissues.
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