Stem Cells in Tooth Tissue Regeneration—Challenges and Limitations
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- Inanç, B. & Elçin, Y.M. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2011) 7: 683. doi:10.1007/s12015-011-9237-7
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The accelerated pace of research in the stem cell field in recent decades and the accumulated body of knowledge has spurred the interest in potential clinical applications of stem cells in all branches of medicine including regenerative dentistry. In humans, embryonic and adult stem cells are two major groups of cells that can serve as a donor source in tissue engineering strategies based on ex-vivo cellular expansion. It has been shown that adult stem cell populations are present in all examined living tissues of the organism, thus being a crucial source of tissue homeostasis and regeneration, and offering a target population for in situ stimulation of extensive tissue regeneration. Experimental findings indicate that in the complex structure of the tooth organ, both periodontal and endodontic tissues harbour adult stem cells with characteristics peculiar to early stages of cellular differentiation. Myriad of strategies incorporating both embryonic and adult stem cells for the regeneration of a particular tooth structure or the whole teeth were proposed; however their successful application to solve real problems encountered in the clinical practice of dentistry remains an elusive and challenging objective.