December 20, 2006
Human Wisdom Teeth Stem Cells Grow Teeth In Pigs

Tooth root material was grown in pigs using stem cells isolated from wisdom teeth of humans.

Los Angeles, CA., Dec.20, 2006-A multi-national research team headed by USC School of Dentistry researcher Songtao Shi, DDS, PhD, has successfully regenerated tooth root and supporting periodontal ligaments to restore tooth function in an animal model. The breakthrough holds significant promise for clinical application in human patients.

The study appears December 20 in the inaugural issue of PLoS ONE.

Utilizing stem cells harvested from the extracted wisdom teeth of 18- to 20-year olds, Shi and colleagues have created sufficient root and ligament structure to support a crown restoration in their animal model. The resulting tooth restoration closely resembled the original tooth in function and strength.

Here is the abstract and the full text of the research paper.

Mesenchymal stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration is a promising approach for regenerative medicine for a wide range of applications. Here we report a new population of stem cells isolated from the root apical papilla of human teeth (SCAP, stem cells from apical papilla). Using a minipig model, we transplanted both human SCAP and periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) to generate a root/periodontal complex capable of supporting a porcelain crown, resulting in normal tooth function. This work integrates a stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration strategy, engineered materials for structure, and current dental crown technologies. This hybridized tissue engineering approach led to recovery of tooth strength and appearance.

The researchers used swine (i.e. pigs) to grow the teeth in.

To accomplish functional tooth regeneration, we used swine because of the similarities in swine and human orofacial tissue organization. Swine SCAP were loaded into a root-shaped HA/TCP block that contained an inner post channel space to allow the subsequent installation of a porcelain crown (Figure 5A). A lower incisor was extracted and the extraction socket was further cleaned with a surgical bur to remove remaining periodontal tissues (Figure 5A). The HA/TCP block containing SCAP was coated with Gelfoam (Pharmacia Canada Inc., Ontario, Canada) containing PDLSCs and inserted into the socket and sutured for 3 months (Figure 5BE). CT examination revealed a HA/SCAP-Gelfoam/PDLSC structure growing inside the socket with mineralized root-like tissue formation and periodontal ligament space. The surface of the implanted HA/SCAP-Gelfoam/PDLSC structure was surgically re-opened at three months post-implantation, and a pre-fabricated porcelain crown resembling a minipig incisor was inserted and cemented into the pre-formed post channel inside the HA/TCP block (Figure 5FH). After suture of the surgical opening, the porcelain crown was retained in situ and subjected to the process of tooth function for four weeks (Figure 5I, J). CT and histologic analysis confirmed that the root/periodontal structure had regenerated (Figure 5KM). Moreover, newly formed bio-roots demonstrated a significantly improved compressive strength than that of original HA/TCP carriers after six-month implantation (Figure 5N). These findings suggest the feasibility of using a combination of autologous SCAP/PDLSCs in conjunction with artificial dental crowns for functional tooth regeneration.

We need the ability to grow replacement parts. Every step in that direction is something to be cheered. Way to go scientists!

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 December 20 11:09 PM  Biotech Teeth And Gums


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