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Scientists re-grow dental enamel from cultured cells

g propagation of the cells in culture, the dental epithelial cells retained the ability to produce enamel, as long as they were later provided with an appropriate environment.

The idea for the culturing technique originates from 1975, when Dr. J.G. Rheinwald and Dr. H. Green of Harvard Medical School reported the use of feeder layers for culturing epithelial cells from the skin (the 3T3-J2 cells used in the current study were gifted by Dr. Green). The cell-scaffold approach is based on tissue-engineering technology developed at the Forsyth Institute (MA) and was applied by one of the Tokyo researchers to produce enamel-like tissues in 2002. Now that dental epithelial cells can be propagated in culture, the next step will be to achieve the same success with their partners in tooth formation, the dental mesenchymal cells. Further development of this technique will be aimed toward production of tissue to replace damaged or missing enamel, and ultimately, regeneration of whole teeth.
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Source:International & American Association for Dental Research


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