Stem Cells: Growing New Teeth and Skin

Post by Sharon

Word has gotten around about stem cell work for regrowing teeth. It may be a bit off on our hopeful timeline, but research is being made by universities like USC pertaining to the future of dental work. 
This has involved a fancy dance between proteins found in the mouth, stem cells activated to regrow lost tissue, and the right medium to either regrow the bad part of the tooth or grow a new tooth in a lab.

Exactly where this technology will take us in the future has yet to be imagined, but the use of stem cells is looking to be the answer to many issues that plague us. 

For more info on teeth and stem cells - LINK 

Already stem cells are being used for growing new skin tissue for burns and wounds. 

As our skin regenerates whenever we heal a wound, it already has some of the alchemy necessary to grow new tissue, but stem cells are helping to recover patients from some pretty rough skin wounds, most especially severe burns.

One method has physicians removing skin cells from the patient's own skin to use for regrowth. The hardest part about this method is the weeks it takes to grow enough cells, making the patient vulnerable to dehydrated skin and infection. 

Cadaver skin has been utilized, but the incidence of rejection and the lack of available donors makes this one a tough option.

The mixing of two types of skin cells has helped this process in the lab and shown amazing promise.

In 12 weeks, after grafting it onto five mice, the skin layer that came from human embryonic stem cells had a structure the "consistent" with human skin.

For more information about skin and stem cells - LINK

These advances utilizing stem cells are just the tip of a monster iceberg that could mean less permanent injury, more healing, and even curing some diseases and issues involving breakdown of the human body. It seems like Frankenstein science, but it's all based on what is already there. We were given the tools. We just had to learn how to use them.