I found a company called RenovoCyte and they’re doing some interesting things with teeth!
It is now well known that umbilical cord blood is a rich source of blood and immune system forming stem cells. Cord blood stem cell banks can provide an invaluable service to those afflicted with leukemia and immune disorders*. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages families to donate their newborn’s cord blood, which is normally discarded at birth, to cord blood banks (if accessible in their area) for use by other individuals in need, and while the AAP does recommend private cord blood banking for parents who have an older child with a condition that could potentially benefit from transplantation, such as a genetic immunodeficiency, storing cord blood at private banks for later personal or family use as a general “insurance policy” is discouraged. The chances of a child needing his or her own cord blood stem cells in the future are estimated to range from one in 1,000 to one in 200,000.
Why tooth stem cells?
Recent studies investigating dental pulp have indicated the presence of an exciting new source of non controversial stem cells. These studies have indicated that these cells may have the potential to be utilized in stem cell mediated therapies as well as tissue engineering applications. Unlike the stem cells typically derived from umbilical cord blood, which are usually used to replace bone marrow, these tooth derived “multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells” (MSC) or “tissue stem cells” appear to be able to develop into many different tissues including, bone, cartilage and even neural tissue. Also, unlike umbilical cord blood derived cells, these stem cells are of greatest potential benefit to the original donor, and can be expanded in the laboratory to create many available doses. To allow potential therapeutic use of these cells, Renovocyte, LLC was developed to capitalize on our group’s unique understanding and experience with this material, specifically with respect to processing, preservation and storage. While cells can be recovered from exfoliated or “baby” teeth, this procedure is very inefficient. The most efficient source of tooth stem cells is extracted 3rd molars or “wisdom teeth”. Our optimized processing method allows for efficient recovery of stem cells from fresh tissue which can then be tested for safety and purity and cryopreserved, and then expanded and used many times as needed for future procedures. Our group developed these procedures through National Institutes of Health grants1 and our methods have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals2,3.
Renovocyte’s services are extremely easy to use. The stem cells come from teeth that are otherwise being extracted, so there is no extra procedure involved. This means dental stem cell banking is one of least expensive and noninvasive ways to access and bank your own stem cells for future use.
*for private umbilical cord blood banking, please visit www.thegenesisbank.com.