July 6, 2022

Urine-derived stem cells used to grow teeth

A recent study published by American stem cell scientists says that a promising new source of stem cells is urine.

A recent study published by American stem cell scientists says that a promising new source of stem cells is urine.  According to the study, urine-derived stem cells can be used to grow a range of regenerative tissue, from bladders to teeth.

In experiments on mice the researchers grew primitive bladder tissue and tooth-like structures which contained “dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ.”

In an interview, Yuanyuan Zhang, one of the senior researchers, described the advantages of this novel source of stem cells: “These cells can be obtained through a simple, non-invasive low-cost approach that avoids surgical procedures… Being able to use a patient’s own stem cells for therapy is considered advantageous because they do not induce immune responses or rejection.”

But other academics are sceptical. “It is probably one of the worst sources, there are very few cells in the first place and the efficiency of turning them into stem cells is very low”, said Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London. Prof Mason is also concerned about the risk of bacterial contamination. 

Xavier Symons
Creative commons
stem cells