Take urine, add mouse cells and grow a new tooth

by Nancy Owano weblog
Take urine, add mouse cells and grow a new tooth
Tooth-like structures formed from H1-ESC line and hiPSC lines in 3 weeks. Credit: doi:10.1186/2045-9769-2-6

(Medical Xpress)—How to grow new teeth for people who are missing teeth because of old age, accidents, or disease has been an area of interest among researchers. Scientists in China say they have grown teeth out of human urine. The announcement was made Tuesday about their research results, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed Cell Regeneration journal. They were able to generate the structures from human urine induced pluripotent stem cells.

Duanqing Pei from Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, and his colleagues developed a tissue culture system where urine was a starting point of cells that could be grown into teeth. In their paper, "Generation of tooth-like structures from integration-free human urine induced pluripotent stem cells" the authors, inglei Cai, Yanmei Zhang, Pengfei Liu, Shubin Chen, Xuan Wu, Yuhua Sun, Ang Li, Ke Huang, Rongping Luo, Lihui Wang, Ying Liu, Ting Zhou, Shicheng Wei, Guangjin Pan and Duanqing Pei wrote,"Here we describe the generation of tooth-like structures from integration-free human urine induced (ifhU-iPSCs)."

They said, "Our results demonstrate that ifhU-iPSCs can be used to regenerate patient specific dental tissues or even tooth for further drug screening or regenerative therapies."

The iPSCs were mixed with and grown for two days before being implanted under the outer layer of the mouse's kidney.

As with normal , the Chinese team made use of the interaction between the epithelial cells and , to ensure production of both tooth-coating enamel and the tooth's components. In three weeks, the bundle of cells started to resemble a tooth, with a success rate of 30 percent:

The tooth-like structure contained , dentin, enamel space and enamel organ. However, the teeth that were grown were not as hard as natural teeth.

Their approach has generated concern among some other scientists. In an interview with the BBC, a scientist focused on and regenerative medicine, Prof. Chris Mason of University College London, thought that urine was an inefficient starting point. He expressed concern, too, for any risk of contamination that the use of urine as a cell source may pose. Prof. Mark Bartold of the University of Adelaide, director of a dental research center, whose research interest is in periodontal connective tissues in disease and regeneration, also weighed in. He said the work is promising but would need to resolve the challenge of figuring out what governs the size and shape of teeth, from incisor to molar. New Scientist quoted him as saying, "That's going to be very tricky, because we don't really fully understand what's involved in that development."

Pei and colleagues, meanwhile, are aware of the study's limitations. The success rate was around 30 percent and the structure was not as hard as human . Still. the researchers believe in the potential of iPSCs as a source of hope for regenerative medicine.

More information: Journal paper reference: Generation of tooth-like structures from integration-free human urine induced pluripotent stem cells, doi:10.1186/2045-9769-2-6 , http://www.cellregenerationjournal.com/content/pdf/2045-9769-2-6.pdf

Related Stories

Biological tooth replacement—a step closer

Mar 09, 2013

Scientists have developed a new method of replacing missing teeth with a bioengineered material generated from a person's own gum cells. Current implant-based methods of whole tooth replacement fail to reproduce a natural ...

Plant-eating dinosaurs replaced teeth often, carried spares

Jul 17, 2013

Some of the largest herbivorous dinosaurs replaced their teeth at a rate of approximately one tooth every 1-2 months to compensate for tooth wear from crunching up plants, according to research published July 17 in the open ...

Stem cells grow fully functional new teeth

Jul 13, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers from Japan recently published a paper in PLoS One describing their successful growth and transplantation of new teeth created from the stem cells of mice.

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

17 hours ago

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

20 hours ago

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Egleton
4.7 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2013
So the dental profession emphasises the difficulties? Who would have thunk?
TheKnowItAll
4.3 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2013
Very nice work. A little displeased that this kind of research is not happening much at home though.