Scope of Research

The Regenerative Health Research (RHR) Laboratory develops cutting-edge technologies in the field of regenerative dentistry, with a focus on endodontics and periodontics. Studying stem cell differentiation, growth factors and scaffolds, the RHR lab makes advancements in the regeneration of dental tissues. 

Researchers have successfully generated biomimetic scaffolds that support the regeneration of pulp-dentin complex and periodontal ligaments. Other research efforts focus on several types of stem cells from human oral tissue, including

  • dental follicle stem cells (DFSCs),
  • dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs),
  • periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) and
  • stem cells from apical papilla (SCAPs).

The RHR Lab is also studying Low-level Laser Therapy and its applications in the field of regenerative endodontics. For instance, the lab is using “cold laser”—a low-level laser between the wavelengths 632–1064 nm that has no thermal effects on tissues—to study outcomes on dental stem cell differentiation.

The RHR Lab provides facilities and research training for

  • dental students,
  • postbaccalaureate students,
  • postgraduate students,
  • PhD students from Main Campus, and
  • international students and scholars.


Located in Building 600 of the Kornberg School of Dentistry, the 800-square-foot RHR Laboratory is categorized as a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) lab. It houses an array of equipment necessary for cellular and molecular biomedical research, including a biosafety culture hood, CO2 incubators, a phase contrast microscope and an inverted fluorescent phase contrast microscope.

The laboratory is also equipped with the following.

  • 810-nm GaAIAs laser machine
  • Centrifuges
  • Chemical fume hood
  • Cryogenic storage vessel for cell storage
  • FluorChem M image system
  • Milipore water purification system
  • Real-time PCR machine
  • Spectrophotometer
  • Ultra-low temperature freezer and refrigerator
  • Western blot processing system


Recent Funding

Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA CURE program)
“In Vitro Effects of Commensal Oral Bacteria on Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Lines” 2018
Co-PI (Yang)
Amount: $200,000

American Association of Endodontists (AAE) Research Grant
“The role of topographical cues on dental pulp stem cells osteogenic differentiation via mechanotransduction” 2017
PI (Yang)
Amount: $15,040

Provost Research Development Strategic Grant
“Dental Tissue Regeneration. Novel biomaterial scaffold to the regeneration of periodontal ligament” 2016
PI (Yang)
Amount: $100,000


2018 Journal of Endodontics Award for Best Article Award
Regenerative Endodontics Versus Apexification in Immature Permanent Teeth with Apical Periodontitis: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Study
Journal of Endodontics
November 2017

2017 Journal of Endodontics Honorable Mention Award
Release of Growth Factors into Root Canal by Irrigations in Regenerative Endodontics
Journal of Endodontics
2016 December

Growing teeth: Researchers regenerate dental tissue
Temple Now
December 2018

Selected Publications

Du, Y., Montoya, C., Orrego, S., Wei, X., Ling, J., Lelkes, P., and Yang, M. Topographic cues of a novel bilayered scaffold modulate dental pulp stem cells differentiation by regulating YAP signaling through cytoskeleton adjustments. Cell Proliferation. 2019 Aug 19:e12676.

Zhang, X., Wang, C., Dai, L., Tang, Y., Zhang, H., Zhao, D., Coates, P., Sefat, F., Zhang, W., Yang, M., Ji, P. Aligned Electrospun Cellulose Scaffolds Coated with rhBMP-2 for Both in vitro and in vivo Bone Tissue Engineering Carbohydrate Polymers. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2019, (213): 27–38.

Gangolli, R.A., Devlin, S.M., Gerstenhaber, J.A., Lelkes, P.I., Yang, M. A Layered Scaffold Provides Differential Cues for the Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2019;25 (3-4):224–233.

W Seong, G Kotsakis, J Huh, S Jeong, K Nam, J Kim, Y Heo, H Kim, L Zhang, M Evans, H Conrad, R Schumacher. Clinical and microbiologic investigation of an expedited peri-implantitis dog model: an animal study. 
BMC Oral Health 2019 19(1):150

Chae, Y., Yang, M., Kim, J. Release of TGF-β1 into root canals with various final irrigants in regenerative endodontics: an in vitro analysis. International Endodontic Journal. 2018 Dec;51(12):1389–1397

Lin, J., Zeng, Q., Wei, X., Zhao, W., Cui, M., Gu, J., Lu, J., Yang, M., Ling, J. Regenerative endodontics versus Apexification in Immature Permanent Teeth With Apical Periodontitis: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Study. J Endod. 2017 Nov; 43(11):1821–1827.

Zhang, X., Zhang, W., Yang, M. Application of Hydrogels in Cartilage Tissue Engineering. Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 2018;13, (7):497–516. 

Yang, M., Zeng, Q. New treatment Modality for pulpitis and apical periodontitis: pathway of regenerative endodontics. Journal of Prevention and Treatment for Stomatological Diseases. 2017, 25 (2): 74

Gonzalez, R., Zeng, Q., Nissan, R., Yesilsoy, C., Yang, M. Dentin Hypersensitivity Related to Apical Fenestration: A Case Report. Austin Journal of Dentistry, 2016, 3(4):1043.

Yang, M., Zeng, Q., Regenerative Endodontics: A New Treatment Modality for Pulp Regeneration.  International Journal of Stomatology, 2016, 43 (5):495

Zeng, Q., Nguyen, S., Zhang, H., Chebrolu, H., Alzebdeh, D., Badi, B., Kim, J., Yang, M. Release of Growth Factors into Root Canal by Irrigations in Regenerative Endodontics. Journal of Endodontics, 2016, 42 (12):1760–1766.