Translational Research of Oral Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells (oNCSCs) in Regenerative Dentistry
Published: October 22, 2015
Regeneration of periodontal tissues aims to utilize tissue engineering techniques to restore lost periodontal tissues including cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Regenerative dentistry and its special field regenerative periodontology represent relatively new and emerging branches of translational stem cell biology and regenerative medicine focusing on replacing and regenerating dental tissues to restore or re-establish their normal function lost during degenerative diseases or acute lesions. The regeneration itself can be achieved through transplantation of autologous or allogeneic stem cells, or by improving the tissue self-repair mechanisms (e.g. by application of growth factors). In addition, a combination of stem cells or stem cell-containing tissue with bone implants can be used to improve tissue integration and the clinical outcome. As the oral cavity represents a complex system consisting of teeth, bone, soft tissues and sensory nerves, regenerative periodontology relies on the use of stem cells with relatively high developmental potential. Notably, the potential use of pluripotent stem cell types such as human embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells is still hampered by ethical and practical problems. Thus, other cellular sources such as those readily available in the postnatal cranio-facial area and particularly in oral structures offer a much better and realistic alternative as cellular regenerative sources.