The race to make the first artificial tooth from stem cells (tooth regeneration)

Stem Cells from Dental pulp can specialize in different types of tissues and cells. The multipotency of Stem Cells from Dental pulp are often compared with mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord and stem cells from bone marrow. Compared with stem cells from bone marrow it has been demonstrated that availability, and proliferation of bone marrow stem cells are less greater than stem cells from Dental pulp. Like stem cells from the umbilical cord, stem cells from dental pulp are also capable to regenerate cornea, nerves, renal tissues, bladder, skeletal, lung tissue, muscles. They also have demonstrated good neurogenic and angiogenic potential.
Tooth Regeneration
Suji T and his team formed a fully functional mouse tooth by combining isolated dental epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells [1]. They also reported that they transplanted succfully a tooth into a toothless mouse [3]. Angelova Volponi and her team also reported to have made a mature teeth with dentin and enamel in an animal model [2]. Even tough scientist seem to have regenerated an artificial tooth in animals, they still have not reported a complete regenerated human tooth. Only a few human studies have been executed till date. Although scientist have been able to regenerate bone, periodontal tissue and pulp tissue. They still haven’t been able to regenerate tissues that completely resemble tissues in their natural form.

One day a regenerated tooth will be made and will be commercially available. The future of stem cell therapy in dental applications looks promising. But safety concerns of stem cell therapy needs to be fully established before it can be used in humans. Ongoing research is needed and understanding signalling molecules, gene expression and proteomics of stem cells is important. It is the future directions that will take us a step forward to successful regeneration of tooth.

[1] Ikeda, R., Morita, K., Nakao, K., Ishida, K., Nakamura, T., Takano-Yamamoto, T., et al. (2009) Fully Functional Bioengineered Tooth Replacement as an Organ Re- placement Therapy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 13475-13480.
[3] Angelova, V.A., Kawasaki, M. and Sharpe, P.T. (2013) Adult Human Gingival Epi- thelial Cells as a Source for Whole-Tooth Bioengineering. Journal of Dental Re- search, 92, 329-334.
[2] Oshima, M., Mizuno, M., Imamura, A., Ogawa, M., Yasukawa, M., Yamazaki, H., et al. (2011) Functional Tooth Regeneration Using a Bioengineered Tooth Unit as a Mature Organ Replacement Regenerative Therapy. PLoS ONE, 6, e21531.

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