The main cause of post-endodontic tooth fracture and failure—no nerve or blood supply—could be eliminated with an experimental 3D-printing-inspired process that creates artificial blood vessels in the lab. A research team at Oregon Health & Science University placed a fiber mold made of sugar molecules across the canals of extracted human teeth, then injected a gel-like material filled with dental pulp cells. The fiber was removed, leaving a microchannel that was filled with cells from existing blood vessels. The result? After 7 days, artificial blood vessels formed inside the tooth.
Lead researcher Luiz Bertassoni, DDC, PhD, noted, “This result proves that fabrication of artificial blood vessels can be a highly effective strategy for fully regenerating the function of teeth. We believe that this finding may change the way that root canal treatments are done in the future.”