Chinese Scientists Grow Teeth Using Human Urine

Posted on July 30, 2013

Scientists from China report in the Cell Generation Journal that they were able to grow tooth-like structures using human urine. The research paper describes how the scientists generated tooth-like structures from human urine induced pluripotent stem cells (ifhU-iPSCs). The stem cells were transfered to epithelial sheets, which were then recombined with mouse dental mesenchymes. The scientists say tooth-like structures were recovered in 3 weeks.

The scientists concluded that stem cells obtain from urine could be used to grow tooth-like structures.
In conclusion, human iPSCs are capable of contribution on tooth generation by predifferentiating into epithelial sheets and further responding to odontogenic signals from embryonic dental mesenchyme. In particular, these regenerative teeth contain enamel with ameloblast-like cells of human origin and possess physical properties found in the regular human tooth. Thus, human iPSCs could be a candidate source of seed cells on human tooth tissue-engineering for further drug screening or regenerative therapies.
BBC News reports that the scientists were able to grow "teeth" that contained dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ. However, these teeth were not as hard as natural teeth.

Prof Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, told BBC News that urine was poor choice for obtaining stem cells.