Extracellular Vesicles-Loaded Fibrin Gel Supports Rapid Neovascularization for Dental Pulp Regeneration

Siyuan Zhang, Anja Lena Thiebes, Franziska Kreimendahl, Stephan Ruetten, Eva Miriam Buhl, Michael Wolf, Stefan Jockenhoevel, Christian Apel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rapid vascularization is required for the regeneration of dental pulp due to the spatially restricted tooth environment. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from mesenchymal stromal cells show potent proangiogenic effects. Since EVs suffer from rapid clearance and low accumulation in target tissues, an injectable delivery system capable of maintaining a therapeutic dose of EVs over a longer period would be desirable. We fabricated an EV-fibrin gel composite as an in situ forming delivery system. EVs were isolated from dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). Their effects on cell proliferation and migration were monitored in monolayers and hydrogels. Thereafter, endothelial cells and DPSCs were co-cultured in EV-fibrin gels and angiogenesis as well as collagen deposition were analyzed by two-photon laser microscopy. Our results showed that EVs enhanced cell growth and migration in 2D and 3D cultures. EV-fibrin gels facilitated vascular-like structure formation in less than seven days by increasing the release of VEGF. The EV-fibrin gel promoted the deposition of collagen I, III, and IV, and readily induced apoptosis during the initial stage of angiogenesis. In conclusion, we confirmed that EVs from DPSCs can promote angiogenesis in an injectable hydrogel in vitro, offering a novel and minimally invasive strategy for regenerative endodontic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4226
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020


  • extracellular vesicles (EVs)
  • dental pulp regeneration
  • hydrogel
  • angiogenesis
  • rapid vascularization
  • VEGF

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