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"Tissue engineering": Scientists grow teeth from urine
People are getting older and therefore “spare parts” for the body are increasingly in demand. Medicine has already designed artificial joints or artificial skin. Researchers in China have now succeeded in growing teeth - from human urine.
Future dentures Scientists from the Chinese Guangzhou Institute for Biomedicine and Health seem to have created a small sensation. They grow teeth from human urine. In a report in the “Cell Regeneration Journal”, the research group leaves no doubt that it will one day be possible to produce dentures in this way in the future. The goal of her work is the complete restoration of a human tooth.
Somewhat softer than normal teeth, this should be made possible by so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which could be obtained from urine. The Chinese scientists would have used them to grow small, tooth-like formations that, although somewhat softer than normal teeth, would otherwise have almost the same properties. According to the researchers, the tissue consists of dental pulp, dentin layer and tooth enamel. The scientists had used stem cells derived from urine, which they had first connected to connective tissue cells obtained from mouse teeth and then implanted into the animals. At present, the tooth breeding is not yet in use. There is still a risk of contamination from bacteria in the urine.
"Tissue engineering" However, the scientists from China are convinced that their results will be followed by further studies and that in the future the complete restoration of a human tooth will be possible. Tissue engineering (TE) is considered a major advance in medicine. TE means the artificial production of biological tissue through the targeted cultivation of cells so that diseased tissue can be replaced or regenerated in a patient. Dentist Dr. Diana Svoboda told “Bild.de”: “Tissue engineering is on the best way to revolutionize dentistry. Excellent progress has been made in research, so that teeth could be grown in vitro, in a test tube, as conventional tissue engineering, but also in vivo - in the jaw of an animal - as part of a tooth regeneration. ”However, there is still no experience whether the results obtained so far only in animal experiments are transferable to humans. Dr. Svoboda believes that the first biological tooth will be used in humans in an estimated ten to 20 years. (ad)
Photo credit: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de