A team of researchers from the Dental Institute at King’s College London has developed a natural approach to repair damaged teeth. Current methods include fillings and cement, which disrupt the normal mineral level of the tooth and can lead to infection. The new approach utilizes a collagen sponge infused with glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3) to stimulate the stem cells in the pulp of the tooth to regenerate dentin and repair the tooth naturally. The collagen sponge degrades over time and is replaced by the naturally regenerated dentin. Lead author of the study, Professor Paul Sharpe, from King's College London states, "The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine.”
Neurobiologists are utilizing dental stem cells from the pulp of baby teeth to study Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dental stem cells are very plastic stem cells [they can be differentiated into many types of tissue] derived from the neural crest during early embryonic development.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine are utilizing mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to develop a treatment for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). MSCs possess valuable properties that make them particularly suitable for potential treatments – chief amongst them are; their plasticity [ability to differentiate into a particular tissue type], their anti-inflammatory capabilities and, their immunomodulatory properties. Currently, there are five Phase 1 clinical trials registered utilizing MSCs to treat IPF.