One step closer to growing a tooth

Researchers in Finland have discovered a marker for dental stem cells that is an important step toward developing a complete bioengineered tooth.

According to Emma Juuri, a researcher at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki, Finland, in the future it may be possible to grow new teeth from stem cells to replace lost ones.

During a recent study, researchers discovered a marker for dental stem cells. The transcription factor, Sox2, is expressed specifically in stem cells of the incisor tooth of the mouse. The mouse incisor grows continuously throughout life, fueled by stem cells located at the base of the tooth. Even though human teeth don’t grow continuously, the mechanisms that control and regulate their growth are similar to that of mouse teeth. These cells offer an excellent model to study dental stem cells.

The discovery of Sox2 as a marker for dental stem cells is an important step toward developing a complete bioengineered tooth.

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