(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF AND PROPERTY OF ‘STEM CELLULAR’)
In 2004 scientists in King’s College London set up a business called Odontis. They have been focusing on developing human teeth from originate cells. This biological replacement teeth has been trademarked as BioTooth.
The idea is to take adult originate cells, treat them in a cell lifestyle so they would be programmed to develop directly into teeth and then transplanted into the individuals jaw where the gap is. Then a replacement tooth grows just as occurs humans grow their original mature teeth. It is thought it might then take two to three months for your tooth to fully develop. The price should not be more than existing treatments which makes it an attractive alternative to other technologies for example implants and dentures.
By 2007 Dr. Paul Sharpe and his group had learned to control the type of teeth formed and control the basic styles, i. e. molar & incisor. Tooth development involves a system of thousands of genes. It’s not required to understand what all the genes performing to get the ball rolling, Sharpe states. Rather, by watching when a couple of key genes are turned on plus off, the researchers have learned that are most important in the control of size and shape. Some genes only work in the upper mouth, others only where molars develop. In one experiment, Sharpe’s group took early tooth buds through growing embryos and switched on the gene known to be active in increasing molars. They implanted the pals in the front of the jaws associated with mice, where incisors would usually grow. The rodents emerged along with molars in front and back.
The teeth are grown in rodents kidney capsules because they provide a hassle-free site for prolonged growth because of the bountiful blood supply to the building tooth. Dr. Sharpe’s aim had been never to grow teeth in kidneys. This is just his experimental check system. In the future its probably that the teeth will be grown in certain sort of artificial bio-reactor which by itself is still in development.
The teeth bud is then implanted within the jaw and the gum sewed or sealed with a clinical “glue”. They have not started human medical trials yet, however they expect the process to be less invasive than a teeth extraction and the requirements for post-procedure care would be similar. After implantation it takes the tooth about a few weeks to set in the jaw of the mouse. As long as the teeth is not under heavy load, this sets well.
The technology to develop replacement teeth could mean the finish of dentures. Living teeth will be much better than dentures because they can react to a persons bite. They move and doing so they maintain the health from the surrounding gums and teeth. Dr. Sharpe has patented the method and hopes to begin human tests in a few years once they perfect their strategies.