Grow a replacement tooth13th March 2013
Researchers from King’s College London have suggested that the ability for people to grow a replacement tooth from their own cells may be a step closer.
Scientists have developed the technique which involves taking stem cells and growing more of them to produce a very small, immature tooth, similar to what a tooth would look like when it starts to grow in an embryo.
The research team acknowledge that it is still at too early a stage for use in humans but Paul Sharpe, who is the Dickinson professor of craniofacial biology at King’s College, London and led the work, said the immature tooth can be transplanted directly into the mouth.
From there, he added, it will get a blood supply and start to grow and gradually form a complete tooth.
Dentists may even be able to shape the tooth crown according to its position in the jaw, according to the research which has been published in the Journal of Dental Research.
The team from the Dental Institute at King’s College combined human gum cells with the cells in mice responsible for growing teeth and then transplanted this combination of cells into the mice which produced hybrid human/mouse teeth with roots.
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