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Dental stem cells to regrow and repair teeth

In a first, scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have used light to coax stem cells to regrow parts of teeth.

The study, led by David Mooney, a Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, is the first to demonstrate the ability to use low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue.

The researchers used a low-power laser to trigger human dental stem cells to form dentin, the hard tissue that is similar to bone and makes up the bulk of teeth (…)

A number of biologically active molecules, such as regulatory proteins called growth factors, can trigger stem cells to differentiate into different cell types.

Current regeneration efforts require scientists to isolate stem cells from the body, manipulate them in a laboratory, and return them to the body – efforts that face a host of regulatory and technical hurdles to their clinical translation (…)

Lead author and dentist Praveen Arany, an Assistant Clinical Investigator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), took rodents to the laboratory version of a dentist’s office to drill holes in their molars.

He treated the tooth pulp that contains adult dental stem cells with low-dose laser treatments, applied temporary caps, and kept the animals comfortable and healthy (…)

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