UMB Dental Stem Cell Research
May 7, 2010 - According to Pamela Robey, Ph.D., chief, Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, "Cells from dental pulp in baby or wisdom teeth have the ability to make dentin and pulp and they might have the ability to make bone."
A new technique pioneered in the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory of Columbia University biomedical engineering professor Dr. Jeremy Mao attaches the body's stem cells to a three-dimensional scaffold that is infused with growth factor. This technique is being used to grow an anatomically correct tooth in as little as nine weeks after being implanted in the mouth. The hope is that replacement teeth developed from natural tissue will provide a longer-lasting, faster and more cost-effective alternative to dental implants.
Stem cell-based therapies are also being investigated for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions, liver disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and nerve regeneration following brain or spinal cord injury.
Dr. Neal B. Graber works with StemSave, an FDA-certified cryogenic laboratory, to harvest and store stem cells from dental pulp.