|Artificially grown tooth transplanted into mouse|
| It may be time to redefine the concept of false teeth. A tooth grown |
from embryonic cells has been successfully transplanted into the jaw of
a mouse. The transplant is a step towards providing artificial
replacements for donor organs that are in short supply. To create the tooth, researchers at Tokyo University of Science in Japan
took cells destined to become teeth from mouse embryos. The cells were
implanted into an adult mouse, beneath a membrane that surrounds the
kidney. Two months later, the cells had developed into a molar complete with a
periodontal ligament – fibres that attach the tooth to bone. The team
extracted the tooth and implanted it into the jawbone of another mouse.
Within 30 days, blood vessels and nerves surrounded the transplant which
functioned as if it were a native tooth.