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Stem cells produce compact, regenerated bone in mandible transplants
Date:3/15/2013

Durham, NC (PRWEB) March 15, 2013

Bone transplantation is a major strategy for the repair of bone defects. However, reconstruction of the mandible (jawbone) has long been a difficult challenge for oral surgeons — at least up to now. A new study in the latest issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine shows how stem cells can be used to successfully repair the mandible after a molar extraction and, years later, the new bone is still functioning properly.

Interestingly, the regenerated bone is also hard, rather than the spongy kind normally found in the jaw.

The new study is a follow-up to previous investigations by an international team of researchers in which they discovered that mesenchymal stem cells taken from dental pulp and seeded on a collagen scaffold successfully repaired the mandible bone. In this latest work, they checked on patients who had received the mandible bone grafts three years earlier to assess the stability and quality of the regenerated bone and vessel network.

They found the new bone had normal function and was richly vascularized, although was much more compact than the spongy type normally found in the mandible. The team theorized that, most probably, regeneration of compact bone occurs because grafted dental-pulp stem cells do not follow the local signals of the surrounding spongy bone.

“The mandible is constructed from spongey bone on account of its role linked to the presence of teeth and their movements, so regeneration of a compact, rather than a spongy bone type, is difficult to justify physiologically. We concluded, therefore, that grafted dental pulp stem cells do not pursue the local environmental signals emanating from the alveolar bone surrounding the graft site,” said Gianpaolo Papaccio, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Experimental Medicine at Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy. He led the study team that included colleagues from Second University
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