Researchers at the University of Zurich are utilizing dental stem cells to regenerate mammary glands and milk-producing cells. The study has the potential to impact millions of breast cancer survivors who have had to have mastectomies to eliminate their breast cancer. Mastectomies are often used as a treatment or preventative measure for breast cancer, where all breast tissue is removed in order to remove cancerous tissues or significantly reduce the risk in people with a strong family history of breast cancer. Currently, the impact on women who have children following a mastectomy is that they can no longer reap the benefits of breast feeding their children.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are homing in on how the regenerative properties of dental stem cells can be used to heal wounds and injuries in patients suffering from a variety of afflictions. The catalyst for the research is the numerous studies demonstrating that oral gingival wounds heal faster than cutaneous wounds and exhibit minimal scar formation. To expand the potential applications of these fast healing stem cells, Professor Songtao Shi at Penn Dental Medicine is collaborating with researchers from Peking University, University of Southern California, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The researchers homed in on particular proteins secreted by gingival stem cells (a type of dental stem cells) that appeared to rapidly accelerate wound healing in gums compared to wounds on the skin. The researchers looked to utilize these stem cells, and their protein secretions, to test whether they would accelerate healing elsewhere in the body.
Topics: dental stem cell use
The team at Central Hospital in Nancy, France is conducting research utilizing dental stem cells to regrow and restore bone density. The trial aims to direct dental mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into engineered osteoblasts, as well as promoting angiogenesis, which is necessary given that bones typically lack sufficient vascularization to make efficient repairs. The benefit of using autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells makes this an effective treatment option that does not pose a risk of rejection. By directing stem cells to promote bone mineralization and endothelial growth, as well as creating vascularization to promote healing, stem cells can be applied to a variety of bone trauma and deficiencies.