Stem cells and tooth tissue engineering
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- Yen, A.HH. & Sharpe, P.T. Cell Tissue Res (2008) 331: 359. doi:10.1007/s00441-007-0467-6
The notion that teeth contain stem cells is based on the well-known repairing ability of dentin after injury. Dental stem cells have been isolated according to their anatomical locations, colony-forming ability, expression of stem cell markers, and regeneration of pulp/dentin structures in vivo. These dental-derived stem cells are currently under increasing investigation as sources for tooth regeneration and repair. Further attempts with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and embryonic stem cells have demonstrated the possibility of creating teeth from non-dental stem cells by imitating embryonic development mechanisms. Although, as in tissue engineering of other organs, many challenges remain, stem-cell-based tissue engineering of teeth could be a choice for the replacement of missing teeth in the future.