Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Second Committee Member

Cliff Seran

Third Committee Member

Ronald Lemon

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Number of Pages



Many studies have demonstrated clinical applications for the use of dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) for the treatment of various conditions. This has driven medical and scientific interest in the collection, isolation and banking of DPSC tissues for research into these potential therapies. Few studies to date have evaluated the viability of DPSC following long-term cryopreservation. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of cryopreservation on dental pulp-derived stem cells (DPSC) viability over a period of three years. Dental pulp-derived stem cells were isolated and cultured from thirty-one healthy teeth. DPSC isolates were assessed for doubling-time and baseline viability prior to cryopreservation and were assessed again at three time points; one week (T1), 18 months (T2), and 36 months (T3). DPSC can be grouped based on their observed doubling times; slow (sDT), intermediate (iDT), and rapid (rDT). Viability results demonstrated all three types of DPSC isolates (sDT, iDT and rDT) exhibit time-dependent reductions in viability following cryopreservation, with the greatest reduction observed among sDT-DPSCs and the smallest observed among the rDT-DPSC isolates. Cryopreserved DPSCs demonstrate time-dependent reductions in cellular viability. Although reductions in viability were smallest at the initial time point (T1) and greatest at the final time point (T3), these changes were markedly different among DPSC isolates with similar doubling times (DTs). Furthermore, the analysis of various DPSC biomarkers – including both intracellular and cell surface markers, revealed differential mRNA expression. More specifically, the relative high expression of Sox-2 was only found only among the rDT isolates, which was associated with the smallest reduction in viability over time. The expression of Oct4 and NANOG were also higher among rDT isolates, however, expression was comparatively lower among the sDT isolates that had the highest reduction in cellular viability over the course of this study. My second study may suggest that some biomarkers, including Nestin, NANOG, Sox-2, Oct4 may have some potential for use as biomarkers that may be associated with either higher or lower cellular viability over long-term storage applications. The analysis of these specific intracellular biomarkers revealed that Oct4 and Sox-2 may be the most important variable factors associated with both DPSC growth rate and viability during cryopreservation. This information may be useful for future applications and therapies that could screen and sort DPSC using predetermined biomarkers to improve both efficiency and feasibility.


cryopreservation; dental pulp; mesenchymal stem cells


Biomechanical Engineering | Biomedical | Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Dentistry

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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