Researchers grow teeth from gum cells
It proved it could be done but is expensive and impractical for use in the clinic, the researchers said.
In the latest study they took human epithelial cells from the gums of human patients, grew more of them in the lab and mixed them with mesenchyme cells from mice.
The mesenchyme cells were cultured to be “inducing” – they instruct the epithelial cells to start growing into a tooth.
Transplanting the cell combination into mice, researchers were able to grow hybrid human/mouse teeth that had viable roots, they reported in the Journal of Dental Research.
The next step will be to get an easily accessible source of human mesenchyme cells and grow enough of them for it to be a useful technique in the clinic.
“The next major challenge is to identify a way to culture adult human mesenchymal cells to be tooth-inducing, as at the moment we can only make embryonic mesenchymal cells do this.”
Report from BBC News
Picture from Wikipedia article on ‘Human Tooth‘