Tooth Grown from Stem Cells
By Miss Cellania in Science & Tech on August 5, 2009 at 12:02 am
Scientists from the the Tokyo University of Science used mouse stem cells to grow a new tooth that worked like a charm in a mouse’s mouth. The cells were grown in a lab dish until a tiny tooth “bud” formed. It was then transferred to the jaw of a mouse where a tooth had been removed. The new tooth erupted through the gum in about five weeks, and was fully grown in seven.
The researchers, who repeated the experiment many times, also showed that the new, bioengineered teeth were fully-functional.
Dr Kazuhisa Nakao said: ‘Every bio- engineered tooth erupted through the gum and had every tooth component such as dentine, enamel, pulp, blood vessels, nerve fibres, crown and root.’
Importantly, the rodent recipients had no trouble eating.
If the technique can be used in humans, dentures may eventually be obsolete. The tooth shown in the picture also had a green fluorescent gene so it could be seen easily.