Dental Pulp Regeneration Using Novel Self-Assembling Peptide Scaffolds


Self Assembly of a Polypeptide Hydrogel for Dental Pulp Regeneration

NJIT Case No. 18-028


Inventors: Vivek A. Kumar, Peter K. Nguyen, William Gao

Intellectual Property & Development Status: Patent protection is pending.

NJIT is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.


Technology Brief:

Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering have invented an injectable, cost effective, biocompatible, and biodegradable self-assembling peptide hydrogel to help regenerate vital pulp-like tissue after pulpotomies. This novel hydrogel can promote dental pulp stem cell regrowth and ultimately regeneration of a living, vital tooth.


Dental caries, or tooth decay, present a significant public health concern in the US. Current standards of care for carious pulp utilize complete extirpation of diseased pulp and subsequent use of non-biologic substitutes, such as rubber rods (Gutta Percha), which create a mechanical and biological mismatch of a devitalized (dead) tooth. This results in a devitalized tooth that loses its ability to maintain itself. Over time this dead tooth demineralizes and loses its structural, functional, and sensory integrity, and it can lead to tooth loss. The invention is a novel self-assembling peptide hydrogel (SAPH), which can promote dental pulp stem cell regrowth and ultimately regenerate a living, vital tooth. The hydrogels can be delivered by fine bore needles locally to the required site. Immediately after delivery, the liquid gel solidifies and has a long lasting effect as it biodegrades over month-long periods. Additionally, these hydrogels are easy and inexpensive to formulate, water-based, and completely biocompatible. Furthermore, they have tunable properties for the development of scaffolds and drugs for a broad range of therapeutic applications.


•       Injectable

•       Cost-effective

•       Biocompatible and biodegradable

•       Non-toxic

•       Easy to manufacture

•       Stem cell regrowth

•       Promotes calcium deposition



•       Dental pulp regeneration

•       Partial pulpotomy

•       Root canal therapy

•       Drug delivery

•       Tissue engineering

•       Regenerative medicine

•       Stem cell therapy

•       Soft tissue augmentation


Inventors Bio:

Vivek Kumar is an assistant professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Materials Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Before that, he was a NIH F32 postdoctoral fellow at Rice University and BIDMC, Harvard Medical School. He completed his PhD in Bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the supervision of world renowned surgeon-scientist Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD. He received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. Dr. Kumar’s research focus is the development of novel biomaterials and composites for a variety of tissue engineering applications, including drug delivery, regenerative medicine, therapeutic angiogenesis, and inflammation modulation. Materials developed in the KumarLab ( are being explored for treatment of a variety of indications, including cholesterol lowering (PCSK-9) inhibitors, novel hemostats, chemotherapeutic delivery, treatment of aberrant vasculature in diabetic retinopathy, stem cell delivery, vaccine adjuvants, microbicides, neurogenic peptides for neuroprotection and regeneration after stroke/TBI, dental pulp regeneration, and tissue engineered blood vessels. Dr. Kumar is a prolific author with over 14 years of experience in the synthesis, characterization, and translation of a range of biomaterials with over 30 peer-reviewed research articles, over 30 conference presentations/abstracts, 8 issued/pending patents, and 2 University technology driven start-ups. His publications have been cited nearly 1000 times with an h-index of 17. Dr. Kumar has received multiple awards for both his academic and entrepreneurial work, including the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service F32 Award, American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship, and other numerous awards at scientific meetings and pitch events.




Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Simon Nynens
VP, Business Incubation
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Vivek Kumar
Peter Nguyen
William Gao
Patent Pending
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