Award Date

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Second Committee Member

Brian Chrzan

Third Committee Member

Joshua Polanski

Number of Pages



Many believe that stem cells hold the key to regenerative medicine. Therefore, research with stem cells has become increasingly popular over the years. Three specific groups of study have become present in literature. The first group has focused much of their research on harvesting and cultivating stem cell lines to retain their pluripotent ability. Stem cells can be tricky to cultivate and preserve over time as they will often differentiate or die. Another group examines the specific characteristics that a pluripotent stem cell has and how to retain, or even create, a cell with pluripotent potential. Lastly, the third group aims to focus on the ability to differentiate stem cells down specific cell lineages for therapeutic use. This study will draw upon the latter two focuses and examine the specific characteristics of stem cells when combined with a cytokine during cultivation.

Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) are a family of growth factors known to play an important part in embryonic development of vascular formation as well as dental development. The processes of neovascularization, formation of new vessels in adults, is highly reliant on the presence of VEGF for both the activation and attraction of undifferentiated bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). While this is the case with bone marrow derived MSCs, few studies have shown the effects VEGF has on other adult stem cell lines, such as dental pulp stem cells (DPSC).

Dental pulp stem cells have only recently been discovered. Another source for pluripotent stem cells, DPSCs are easily harvested from avulsed or extracted teeth. Further studies hope to determine the versatility of DPSCs and find specific uses for them in regenerative therapies.


Cell Biology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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