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Banking Baby, Wisdom Teeth For Stem Cells Banking..

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June 8, 2005—Baby and wisdom teeth, along with jawbone and periodontal ligament, are non-controversial sources of stem cells that could be "banked" for future health needs, according to a National Institutes of Health researcher who spoke today at the American Dental Association's national media conference. Harvested from the pulp layer inside the teeth, jawbone and periodontal ligament, these stem cells may one day correct periodontal defects and cleft palate, and may help restore nerve cells lost in diseases such as Parkinson's, according to Pamela Gehron Robey, Ph.D., Chief, Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Stem cells have the potential to save injured teeth and grow jawbone.

Regenerating an entire tooth is on the horizon, and years from now, Dr. Robey said stem cells from teeth and jawbo- ne might be used to correct cleft palate, one of the most common birth defects, sparing children multiple surgeries. "As long as a cell has a nucleus, anything is possible," Dr. Robey states. In time, individuals may be able to bank their own stem cells from baby and wisdom teeth, similar to the way umbilical cord blood is stored. At present, commercial facilities to store stem cells from teeth are not available. According to Dr. Robey, the viability of stem cells derived from baby teeth is determined by when the tooth comes out. The longer a loose tooth is left in the mouth to fall out on its own, the less viable it is as a source of stem cells. As research in the field progresses, Dr. Robey hopes that stem cells from baby and wisdom teeth may one day restore nerve cells damaged by diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, one of the most common neurological disorders affecting the elderly.

"The stem cells from jawbone and teeth share a common origin with nerve tissue," Dr. Robey points out. "With the proper cues, researchers may be able to encourage them to form nerve-like tissue which may restore cells that make dopamine, but much more work is needed." Dopamine is a brain chemical that nerve cells need to properly function. To extract the stem cells from teeth, researchers can remove the periodontal ligament, drill into the tooth to remove the crown and then extract the pulp which is placed in an enzyme solution to release the stem cells. From jawbone, cells can be isolated by collecting marrow following a tooth extraction, for example, or by biopsy.

Therapeutic Application

Dental Stem Cells can Differentiate into...

This has Potential Benefit in..

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Cardiac cells (heart cells)

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Repair damage caused by Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)

Neurones (nerve cells)

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Repair due to stroke or other degenerative diseases

Myocytes (muscle cells)

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Repair loss due to crush-injuries or other degenerative diseases

Osteocytes (bone cells)

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Repair fractures and other joint/bone diseases

Adipocytes (fat cells)

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Restore fat loss

Chondrocytes (cartilage cells)

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Repair of cartilage after injuries or other degenerative diseases such as Osteoarthritis

Dermal tissue (skin cells)

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Assistance in Plastic Surgery applications

 

  • Mesenchymal stem cells help repair hearts damaged by heart attack -- in part by becoming heart cells themselves.
  • Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Delays the Progression of Neurological Deficits in Patients With Multiple System Atrophy -May 2008
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation Accelerates Hearing Recovery through the Repair of Injured Cochlear Fibrocytes
  • Mesenchymal stem cells have shown to have a Therapeutic potential of in prostate cancer bone metastasis –
  • Clinical applications of human Mesenchymal Stem Cells are evolving rapidly with the aim to improve hematopoietic engraftment, expanding HSC, preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), correcting inborn metabolic errors and delivering a variety of therapeutic genes into the cells.

 

Applications of mesenchymal stem cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Mesenchymal stem cells have been used to regenerate marrow microenvironment after myeloablative therapy.

The use of natural and synthetic biomaterials as carriers for mesenchymal stem cells delivery has shown increasing promise for orthopedic therapeutic applications, especially bone formation. Mesenchymal stem cells are ideal for treating arthritis and connective tissue ailments. When introduced into the infarcted heart, mesenchymal stem cells prevent deleterious remodeling and improve recovery. Number of reports have also indicated that these cells possess the capacity to trans-differentiate into epithelial cells and lineages derived from the neuro-ectoderm, and in addition, mesenchymal stem cells can migrate to the sites of injury, inflammation and to tumors. These properties of mesenchymal stem cells make them promising candidates for use in regenerative medicine and may also serve as efficient delivery vehicles in site-specific therapy.

Future Research on Mesenchymal Stem Cells

According to American Diabetes Association, mesenchymal stem cells can be the key to healing diabetic foot ulcers: Diabetic foot ulcers are the primary cause of hospital admissions for diabetics. Foot ulcers that heal improperly are at risk for infection, which can lead to amputation

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