In the present study, a scaffold-free tissue construct was developed as an approach for the regeneration of tissue defects, which produced good outcomes. We fabricated a scaffold-free tissue construct from human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs construct), and examined the characteristics of the construct. For its fabrication, basal sheets prepared by 4-week hDPSCs culturing were subjected to 1-week three-dimensional culture, with or without osteogenic induction, whereas hDPSC sheets (control) were fabricated by 1-week culturing of basal sheets on monolayer culture. The hDPSC constructs formed a spherical structure and calcified matrix that are absent in the control. The expression levels for bone-related genes in the hDPSC constructs were significantly upregulated compared with those in the control. Moreover, the hDPSC constructs with osteogenic induction had a higher degree of calcified matrix formation, and higher expression levels for bone-related genes, than those for the hDPSC constructs without osteogenic induction. These results suggest that the hDPSC constructs with osteogenic induction are composed of cells and extracellular and calcified matrices, and that they can be a possible scaffold-free material for bone regeneration.
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