Pluripotent stem cells generated from human urine cells have been used to grow teeth-like structures in a group of mice.
The laboratory-based study was published in Cell Regeneration and could illuminate the possibility of using urine as an easier source to obtain stem cells rather than by existing means – such as obtaining a sample of bone marrow.
Researchers reported that, after three weeks, up to 30% of mice developed a tooth-like structure. These teeth-like structures only had one third of the hardness of human teeth, but did contain dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ.
Despite its relative success, the experiment has attracted a certain amount of criticism. Caution must be necessitated when generalising findings from animal research to humans. Nevertheless, the future of regenerative therapies in dentistry is looking positive with continued progress.
To find out more about the research carried out, visit Cell Regeneration.