Ophthalmologists James L Funderburgh, Ph.D. and Fatima Syed-Picard, Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh have devised a method for treating corneal blindness by utilizing dental pulp stem cells. The researchers harvested the stem cells from molars discarded during routine extraction and induced the cells to differentiate into keratocytes [corneal cells]. They then seeded the cells onto a nanofiber scaffold, allowing them to grow into fully developed, functional corneas capable of restoring eyesight.
As reported on the front page of the New York Times Science section, clinical applications of stem cell based therapies are accelerating at a rate that will revolutionize the medical field in a matter of years. In the United States alone, there are currently over 4000 therapies in clinical trials for the treatment of heart disease, blindness, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, H.I.V., and other diseases, injuries, and traumas.
Topics: Muscular Dystrophy, ALS, Parkinson's, Phase III, multiple sclerosis, Heart, Joints, Alzheimer's, burn injuries, Diabetes, Acute Myocardial Infarction, Brain, Heart Failure, clinical trials, Bone, Debilitating Diseases, Phase II, Arthritis, Stemcells, Teeth, autologousstemcells, cartilage, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Brain Tumors, Blindness, stemsaveblog
Researchers at the Wyss Institute and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a self-shrinking gel that, when loaded with mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs], stimulates their ability to differentiate into teeth, bones, and organs in vivo [in the patient’s body]. The gel is designed to spontaneously compress at 37°C [the temperature of the human body], which places the physical pressure required to trigger the stem cells’ proliferative properties while inside the patient’s body.
Researchers at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research have developed a method of utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] dental stem cells to regenerate damaged or decayed teeth. In an animal model, as well as human cells in vitro [in a lab], the scientists treated the damaged teeth with low-intensity lasers, which prompted the stem cells located in the dental pulp to differentiate and grow into new, healthy dentin tissue.
Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have developed a novel stem cell therapy called “SealBio” to replace traditional root canal treatments. SealBio eliminates the need to clean, shape, and fill the tooth with artificial sealer cement by inducing the stem cells of the root to regenerate adult tissue as a natural biological seal. Over time, this technique can even restore the root canal back to health.
In a recent study supported by the National Institutes of Health, stem cells extracted from baby teeth were differentiated into neural cells. The success of the study demonstrates that teeth provide a non-invasive and accessible means for researchers to obtain and grow patient specific neural tissue to study autism spectrum disorders [ASD] and other neurological disorders. This is in contrast to the recovery of stem cells from other sources – such as a skin biopsy, that are both invasive, more costly and less advantageous in the study of neural related disorders.
Utilizing dental pulp stem cells, researchers at Japan’s National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology have developed a stem cell treatment for tooth decay by restoring a tooth’s structure and function. In the study, involving canine subjects, researchers utilized the dog’s own dental pulp stem cells to repair damaged and compromised teeth. Given the success of the study, researchers have initiated clinical [human] trials.
Researchers from University of Nottingham in England had their 3D printing technology on display last week at the Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition. This technology is being used to create custom-fitted bone replacements and other body parts.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on current research involving dental pulp stem cells [DPSC]. Researchers worldwide, including StemSave’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Dr. Jeremy Mao of Columbia University, are making advances in restoring tooth tissue and regenerating entire teeth using dental pulp stem cells. Current studies are in the animal model stage but researchers anticipate entering human clinical trials in the near future.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Sheffield have worked together to find a way to improve stem cell scaffolding through sticky spots scattered throughout the extra-cellular matrix. The improvement in scaffolding will lead to better stem cell treatments in many areas. Right now, scaffolds are being used in tandem with stem cells to grow new tracheas, teeth, cartilage, organs and much more.