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Low, medium, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid effects on human dental pulp stem cells in vitro

Publication at Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové |


Hyaluronic acid (HA), an extracellular biopolymer found throughout the human body, holds promise as a biocompatible and biodegradable scaffold material. High molecular weight (HMW) HA degrades, generating low molecular weight (LMW) fragments with distinct properties.

These fragments can influence the behaviour of cells, including human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) incorporated into HA-containing hydrogels or scaffolds. Therefore, a comprehensive examination of the impact of a range of HA molecular weights on hDPSCs is essential before designing HA-based scaffolds for these cells. hDPSC lines were cultured with LMW HA (800 Da, 1600 Da, 15 kDa), medium molecular weight HA (237 kDa), or HMW HA (1500 kDa) over six passages.

The various molecular weights had negligible effects on hDPSCs viability, morphology, adhesion, or relative telomere length. Furthermore, the expression of key surface stemness markers (CD29, CD44, CD73, CD90) remained unaltered.

HA did not induce osteogenic, chondrogenic, or adipogenic differentiation. Moreover, the potential for chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation was not adversely affected by LMW or HMW HA.

Various molecular weights of HA seem safe, biocompatible and therefore suitable components for hDPSCs-containing scaffolds. These findings affirm that the hDPCSs will not be negatively affected by HA fragments resulting from scaffold degradation.