Tiny ad­vance in science

The Herald Business - - Innovations -

RE­SEARCHERS in Ja­pan have re­ported a break­through in den­tal science, claim­ing they have re­placed nat­u­ral teeth in mice with teeth grown in a lab­o­ra­tory dish from sin­gle cells.

Takashi Tsuji of the Tokyo Univer­sity of Science said that they took two kinds of cell – mes­enchy­mal and ep­ithe­lial cells – that de­velop into a tooth.

They first grew each cell type sep­a­rately to make larger num­bers and then in­jected them into col­la­gen, a pro­tein widely used in cos­metic surgery.

The tooth germ grew into a tiny tooth about 1.3mm long. The re­searchers ex­tracted the in­cisor from an eight-week-old adult mouse and in­serted the bio­engi­neered tooth.

Af­ter two weeks, the trans­plant was found to be grow­ing per­fectly, with root, enamel, den­tal pulp, bone, blood ves­sel – the same com­po­si­tion and struc­ture as a nor­mal tooth.

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