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Researchers Aim To Regrow Teeth Using Adult Cells

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 02:39 PM EDT
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For decades, the controversy behind using embryonic stem cells in creating certain body organs in the lab setting has slowed down scientific possibilities. Despite this, researchers have found other ways of genetically engineering bladders or ears outside of the body and subsequently implanting them into the living human being. In the first human trial ever, researchers plan on using stem cell-like cells taken from adults and not embryos in their attempt to recreate a human bone. If this experiment can be done successfully, future researchers and scientists might be able to use similar cells in developing vital organs and using them for transplants.

The researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and NeoStem Inc., based in New York, are attempting to use a new form of cells technology known as VSEL stem cells that takes adult cells that resemble embryonic stem cells and use them to create a human bone. The researchers believe that these cells can improve treatment options for patients suffering from bone trauma.

"Within a year, researchers hope to being recruiting roughly 50 patients who need a tooth extraction and a dental implant," the professor from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and one of the study leaders, Russell Taichman stated.

The researchers have developed an experiment that will specifically look into how cells can be used to regenerate and speed up bone growth for dental patients. With the participants, the researchers will take the patient's cells before the extraction of the tooth. Along with the help from NeoStem's VSEL technology, the researchers will isolate the VSEL stem cells and harvest them. These isolated cells will then be implanted back into the volunteers so that the researchers can observe whether or not an implanted bone can successfully grow in the presence of these VSEL cells.

"We're taking advantage of the time between extraction and implant to see if these cells will expedite healing time and produce better quality bone. They are natural cells that are already in your body, but NeoStem's technology concentrates them so that we can place a higher quantity of them onto the wound site," Taichman added.

The study will start after the research study's guidelines are finalized. If the researchers can successful create a better bone through the use of these cells, it would open up possibilities for other research relating to stem cells. 

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