Broke a tooth? Grow another!

Jan 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- To all those who have made deals with the tooth fairy in the past: you probably sold your teeth below their fair value.

Dr. George Huang, Chair of Endodontics at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of (GSDM), says those baby teeth and extracted third molars we are throwing away hold valuable dental stem cells.

“Our team found for the first team that we can reprogram dental stem cells into human embryonic-like cells called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which may be an unlimited source of cells for ,” Dr. Huang says.

So far, scientists have had luck creating iPS cells from various cells in mice easily, but this hasn’t been as easy in humans, until more recently. All three types of human dental stem cells the GSDM team tested are easier to reprogram than fibroblasts, which previously seemed to be the best way to make human iPS cells.

In a related study, Dr. Huang regenerated two major human components—dental pulp and dentin—for the first time in a mouse experimental model. The mouse was used to supply nutrition for regeneration.

Using tissue engineering, researchers saw empty root canal space fill with pulp-like tissue with ample blood supplies. Dentin-like tissue regrew on the dentinal wall.

“The finding will revolutionize endodontic and dental clinical practice by helping to preserve teeth,” Dr. Huang says.”

The studies, iPS cells reprogrammed from mesenchymal-like stem/progenitor cells of dental tissue origin and Stem/progenitor cell-mediated de novo regeneration of dental pulp with newly deposited continuous layer of dentin in an in vivo model, appear in and Development and Tissue Engineering.

Explore further: Researcher develops, proves effectiveness of new drug for spinal muscular atrophy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers use stem cells to regenerate parts of teeth

Dec 20, 2006

A multi-national research team headed by USC School of Dentistry researcher Songtao Shi, DDS, PhD, has successfully regenerated tooth ro ot and supporting periodontal ligaments to restore tooth function in a swine (an animal) ...

Baby teeth might be source of stem cells

Jul 17, 2006

A Texas company has reportedly started freezing stem cells taken from baby teeth pulp tissue in hopes the cells might some day lead to disease treatments.

Recommended for you

A novel therapy for sepsis?

9 hours ago

A University of Tokyo research group has discovered that pentatraxin 3 (PTX3), a protein that helps the innate immune system target invaders such as bacteria and viruses, can reduce mortality of mice suffering ...

Cellular protein may be key to longevity

Sep 15, 2014

Researchers have found that levels of a regulatory protein called ATF4, and the corresponding levels of the molecules whose expression it controls, are elevated in the livers of mice exposed to multiple interventions ...

Gut bacteria tire out T cells

Sep 15, 2014

Leaky intestines may cripple bacteria-fighting immune cells in patients with a rare hereditary disease, according to a study by researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland. The study, published in The Journal of Experimental Me ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Simonsez
3 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2010
This is a pretty amazing discovery!

I am doubly excited by the fact that I have in my possession about a dozen of my own extracted/expelled teeth, including two unbroken wisdom teeth and one extra/third left-front incisor. I wonder if I can sell them now!