PhD, Stony Brook University
Characterization of dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) is at the focus of Dr. Jurukovski’s interest. The initial cell biology studies of DPSC quickly turned into interdisciplinary study of their interaction with various polymers. The goal is to find a biocompatible, biodegradable polymer which by its chemical and mechanical characteristics will provide both scaffold and differentiation signal for the DPSCs and in that way avoid chemical induction. At the moment the mechanical characteristics of several polymers are successfully used for induction of osteogenic differentiation leading to formation of calcium phosphate crystals. These findings are confirmed by combination of cell biology techniques, including immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, as well as electron scanning microscopy and x-ray diffraction studies.