A randomized controlled phase I/II clinical trial was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of encapsulated human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in a plasma-derived biomaterial for regenerative endodontic procedures (REPs) in mature permanent teeth with apical lesions. The trial included 36 patients with mature incisors, canines, or mandibular premolars showing pulp necrosis and apical periodontitis. Patients were randomly and equally allocated between experimental (REP) or conventional root canal treatment (ENDO) groups. On the first visit, cavity access and mechanical preparation of the root canal were performed. Calcium hydroxide medication was used, and the cavity was sealed. Three weeks later, patients were treated following their assigned protocol of ENDO or REP. Clinical follow-up examinations were performed at 6 and 12 mo. Categorical variables were evaluated by Fisher’s exact test. Quantitative variables were compared using the Mann-Whitney test. The evolution over time of the percentage of perfusion units and the dimensions of lesion and cortical compromise were explored. After the 12-mo follow-up, no adverse events were reported, and the patients showed 100% clinical efficacy in both groups. Interestingly, in the REP group, the perfusion unit percentage measured by laser Doppler flowmetry revealed an increase from 60.6% to 78.1% between baseline and 12-mo follow-up. Sensitivity tests revealed an increase of the positive pulp response in the REP group at 12-mo follow-up (from 6% to 56% on the cold test, from 0% to 28% on the hot test, and from 17% to 50% on the electrical test). We present the first clinical safety and efficacy evidence of the endodontic use of allogenic umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells encapsulated in a plasma-derived biomaterial. The innovative approach, based on biological principles that promote dentin-pulp regeneration, presents a promising alternative for the treatment of periapical pathology (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03102879).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-529
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from “Corporación de Fomento de la Producción” (CORFO), project number L2 14IDL2-30051, Santiago, Chile.

Publisher Copyright:
© International & American Associations for Dental Research 2020.


  • bioengineering
  • cell therapy
  • clinical outcomes
  • regenerative medicine
  • stem cells
  • tissue scaffolds


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