Archive for the ‘NEW TEETH’ Category

Smart Braces Take The Bite Out Of Conventional Orthodontia

One could say that donning a mouthful of braces isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) are looking to revamp the process with smart, 3D-printed braces running on nontoxic batteries and light.

The new system centers around one lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery and two near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on each tooth. This tech is situated on a 3D-printed, semitransparent dental strip that is flexible enough to remove in order to recharge.

The Li-ion batteries supply the power to the LEDs, turning them on and off. The rate of light therapy depends on specific programming by the dentist, determined by the individual needs of each tooth. Phototherapy has provided considerable benefits in orthodontic treatment, reducing cost, time, and promoting bone regeneration.

“We started embedding flexible LEDs inside 3D-printed braces, but they needed a reliable power supply,” says Muhammad Hussain, leader of the research, along with Ph.D. student Arwa Kutbee.

“After the incidents with the Samsung Galaxy 7 batteries exploding, we realized that traditional batteries in their current form and encapsulation don’t serve our purpose. So we redesigned the state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology into a flexible battery, followed by biosafe encapsulation within the braces to make a smart dental brace,” Hussain adds.

The battery redesign, mentioned by Hussain, was accomplished through dry-etching. This technique thinned the battery and increased flexibility by removing the silicon that is usually situated on its back. The final dimensions leveled at 2.25 mm x 1.7 mm.

Materials made of soft, biocompatible polymers surrounded the power supply to halt leakage. The outer coating was vital for the device to remain safe for human use.

The KAUST team sees these initial findings as a preliminary step that serves as a proof-of-concept prototype. Clinical trials are next on the to-do list.

The full details of the research can be found in an article published in the journal Flexible Electronics.

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Henry Sapiecha

Low-power laser triggers stem cells to repair teeth

low-power-laser-stem-cell-tooth-repair image www.perfectwhiteteeth (1)

New research indicates that it may one day be possible for us to regrow teeth … with some help from a laser

Ranking among the X-Men probably isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, but who wouldn’t want their uncanny ability to regenerate lost bone or tissue? New research into tooth repair and stem cell biology, from a cross-institution team led by David Mooney of Harvard’s Wyss Institute, may bring such regeneration one step closer to reality – or at the very least, give us hope that we can throw away those nasty dentures.

The researchers employed a low-power laser to trigger human dental stem cells to form dentin, a hard bone-like tissue that is one of four major components of teeth (the others being enamel, pulp, and cementum). This kind of low-level light therapy has previously been used to remove or stimulate hair growth and to rejuvenate skin cells, but the mechanisms were not well understood, results varied, and evidence of its efficacy was largely anecdotal.

low-power-laser-stem-cell-tooth-repair image www.perfectwhiteteeth (2)

The new work is the first to document the molecular mechanism involved, thus laying the foundations for controlled treatment protocols in not only restorative dentistry but also avenues like bone regeneration and wound healing. “The scientific community is actively exploring a host of approaches to using stem cells for tissue regeneration efforts,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Don Ingber. “Dave [Mooney] and his team have added an innovative, noninvasive, and remarkably simple but powerful tool to the toolbox.”

To test the team’s hypothesis, Praveen Arany, an assistant clinical investigator at the National Institutes of Health, drilled holes in the molars of rats and mice, then treated them with low-dose lasers and temporary caps. Around 12 weeks later, tests confirmed that the laser treatments triggered enhanced dentin formation.

Performing dentistry on rat teeth takes extreme precision and is actually harder than the same procedure on human teeth (Image: ames Weaver, Harvard’s Wyss Institute)

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Further experiments were conducted on microbial cultures in the laboratory, where they found that a regulatory cell protein called transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) was activated in a chemical domino effect that in turn caused the stem cells to form dentin. The good news there is that TGF-β1 is more or less ubiquitous, with key roles in many biological processes – such as immune response, wound healing, development, and malignancies.

This means we could one day see the technique used to do far more than help repair teeth. But first it needs to clear planned human clinical trials, so for now you’ll have to make do with dentures, canes and all manner of other prosthetics while the likes of Wolverine prance around with self-healing bodies.

low-power-laser-stem-cell-tooth-repair image www.perfectwhiteteeth (4)

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Source: Wyss Institute at Harvard

Henry Sapiecha

LAB GROWN TEETH FROM MOUSE TISSUE SHOWCASED IN THIS VIDEO

JAPANESE SCIENTIST GROW NEW TEETH & HAIR FROM MOUSE TISSUE

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