Engineering microscale delivery systems capable of precisely controlled growth factor release
Dr. Alireza Moshaverinia is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and a tenure track assistant professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry, Division of Advanced Prosthodontics. Alireza has received his DDS degree from Iran. He has an MS degree in Dental Biomaterials from the Ohio State University, College of Dentistry. He completed advanced clinical education in Prosthodontics and earned his PhD in Craniofacial Biology from USC School of Dentistry. He is the recipient of several awards in recognition of his scientific achievements including: GSK Prosthodontist Innovator Award, NIH Career Development Award, IADR Innovation in Oral Care Award, and IADR Academy of Osseointegration innovation in Implant Sciences Award.
Soft tissue reconstruction is still a challenging clinical task in reconstructive surgeries, regenerative medicine, and dentistry. Current modalities of treatment might lead to donor site morbidity and suboptimal outcomes. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) encapsulated in hydrogel biomaterials have been extensively used for tissue engineering applications. Gingival mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs) can be considered as an alternative therapeutic option for soft tissue reconstruction or augmentation. GMSCs are of special interest as they are easily accessible in the oral cavity and readily found in discarded tissue samples. Biomaterials are widely used as cell delivery vehicle to direct stem cell differentiation toward desired phenotypes. Adhesion and retention of the biomaterial at the application site as well as its regenerative properties are vital factors for successful tissue regeneration applications. However, the major drawbacks of the current cell-laden biomaterials for tissue engineering are weak adhesion to the tissue, poor mechanical strength, fast/uncontrolled degradation, and absence of regenerative properties. Another obstacle in soft tissue engineering is finding a way to precisely deliver specific growth factors (GFs) and have control over their presentation over time. In this proposal, we aim to address these limitations by engineering an adhesive hydrogel based on a visible light crosslinkable dopamine-modified alginate-Heparin hydrogel with the ability to have sustained release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF) for possible soft tissue regeneration applications in medicine and dentistry. This project will introduce a promising treatment approach for soft tissue regeneration. The result will be a novel injectable and biodegradable scaffold with the ability to have sustained and localized delivery of growth factors, presenting an innovative treatment modality for soft tissue regeneration.