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Bioengineering Helps Develop Tooth and Bone

The ability to bioengineer combined tooth and bone constructs, which would grow in a coordinated fashion with the surrounding tissues, could potentially improve the clinical outcomes, and also reduce patient suffering.

Under the guidance of Dr. Pamela C. Yelick, a research team at Tufts University (Boston, MA), first reported the regeneration of tooth crowns, from cultured tooth bud cells seeded onto biodegradable scaffolds and implanted into rat hosts. Next, they generated a hybrid tooth-bone construct, by combining a bone-marrow-derived stem-cell-seeded scaffold with the previously used tooth model, implanted and grown in the omenta (tissues connecting abdominal structures) of rat hosts.

Their results showed the formation of organized bioengineered dental tissues closely resembling those of naturally formed teeth, including dentin, enamel, pulp, and periodontal ligament, after 12 weeks of implantation. These results demonstrate the feasibility and therapeutic potential for regenerating tooth and bone from autologous stem cells, for craniofacial reconstructions in humans. This model is currently being modified to improve alveolar bone formation, regenerated dental tissue orientation, tooth root development, and tooth eruption.


This is a summary of abstract #1168, "Reconstructing Mandibular Defects with Autologous Bioengineered Tooth and Bone", by W. Zhang et al., of Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA, presented on April 5, 2008, during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

Reference:
International & American Association for Dental Research (2008, April 5). Reconstructing Mandibular Defects With Bioengineered Tooth And Bone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­
/releases/2008/04/080405095752.htm

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