Scientists grow human tooth using stem cells taken from urine
Team in China say their slightly unsavoury work could realise the 'final dream' of regenerating adult teeth to replace those lost through aging or decay
Scientists in China say they have successfully grown a human tooth using stem cells taken from urine.
Researchers say the technique could one day be used as a way to replace teeth lost through aging and poor dental hygiene, with the added bonus that urine is deemed a less controversial source of stem cells than human embryos.
The team at the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health extracted cells contained in the urine which would normally be passed from the body, such as those from the lining of the body's waterworks, and managed to coax them into becoming stem cells.
They then used these to implant the teeth-like structures in mice, and said the resulting bundle of cells eventually contained “dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ,” researchers said.
The report, published in Cell Regeneration Journal, added that this could lead to further studies resulting in “the final dream of total regeneration of human teeth for clinical therapy”.
However the project has received has attracted criticism, and not just because it has only a 30 per cent success rate in its current form.
Prof Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, told the BBC urine was “probably one of the worst sources” of stem cells.
He said: “There are very few cells in the first place and the efficiency of turning them into stem cells is very low. You just wouldn't do it in this way.“
He also said the risk of contamination was much higher than with other sources of cells, and that there was a long way to go before science overcame “the big challenge” of getting nerve and blood vessels to integrate in newly-formed permanent teeth.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...