Objectives: A variety of bioreactors and related approaches have been applied to dental tissues as their use has become more essential in the field of regenerative dentistry and dental tissue engineering. The review discusses the various types of bioreactors and their potential application in dentistry.
Methods: Review of literature was conducting using keywords (and MeSH) like Bioreactor, Regenerative Dentistry, Fourth Factor, Stem Cells, etc., from the journals published in English. All the searched abstracts, published in indexed journals, were read and reviewed to further refine list of included articles. Based on relevance of abstracts pertaining to manuscript full text articles were assessed.
Results: Bioreactors provide a prerequisite platform to create, test, and validate the biomaterials and techniques proposed for dental tissue regeneration. Flow perfusion, rotational, spinner-flask, strain and customize-combined bioreactors have been applied for regeneration of bone, periodontal ligament, gingiva, cementum, oral mucosa, temporomandibular joint and vascular tissues. Customize bioreactors that can support cellular/biofilm growth as well apply cyclic loading, center of disease control & dip-flow biofilm-reactors and micro-bioreactor have been used to evaluate the biological properties of dental biomaterials, their performance assessment and interaction with biofilms. Few case reports have also applied the concept of in-vivo bioreactor for the repair of musculoskeletal defects and used custom-designed bioreactor (Aastrom) to repair defects of cleft-palate.
Conclusions: Bioreactors provide a sterile simulated environment to support cellular differentiation for oro-dental regenerative applications. Also bioreactors like, customize bioreactors for cyclic loading, biofilm reactors (CDC & drip-flow), and micro-bioreactor, can assess biological responses of dental biomaterials by simultaneously supporting cellular or biofilm growth and application of cyclic stresses.