HONG KONG // Scientists in Japan have managed to make teeth - complete with connective fibres and bones - by using mouse stem cells, and successfully transplanted them into mice.
The teeth were grown by culturing stem cells from the molar teeth of mice in a three-dimensional mould, then inserting them into the lower jaws of one-month-old mice.
"The bioengineered teeth were fully functional ... there was no trouble biting and eating food after transplantation," wrote Masamitsu Oshima, assistant professor at the Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science.
"It is important to develop technologies for the culture of the bioengineered organ, for the realisation of future organ replacement regenerative therapy."
The researchers hope this is a step to help the development of human organs grown from a patient's own cells. Stem cells are the body's master cells and source of all cells and tissues. They are undifferentiated and experts believe they can generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate.