Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research partnered with Ann Arbor-based Aastrom Biosciences Inc. in the clinical trial, which involved 24 patients who required jawbone reconstruction after tooth removal.
Patients either received experimental tissue repair cells or traditional guided bone regeneration therapy. The tissue repair cells, called ixmyelocel-T, are under development at Aastrom, which is a U-M spinout company."In patients with jawbone deficiencies who also have missing teeth, it is very difficult to replace the missing teeth so that they look and function naturally," said Darnell Kaigler, principal investigator and assistant professor at the U-M School of Dentistry. "This technology and approach could potentially be used to restore areas of bone loss so that missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants."
The main advantage to the stem cell therapy is that it uses the patient's own cells to regenerate tissues, rather than introducing man-made, foreign materials, Kaigler said.
The results were promising. At six and 12 weeks following the experimental cell therapy treatment, patients in the study received dental implants. Patients who received tissue repair cells had greater bone density and quicker bone repair than those who received traditional guided bone regeneration therapy.
In addition, the experimental group needed less secondary bone grafting when getting their implants.
The study, "Stem cell therapy for craniofacial bone repair: A randomized, controlled clinical trial," appears this month in the journal Cell Transplantation.Darnell Kaigler:
Laura Bailey | EurekAlert!
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