Stem Cell Harvesting
The stem cells found in children's primary teeth are a viable, ethical, and morally non-controversial alternative to the possibilities offered by embryonic stem cells. BioEDEN, Inc. was founded on this premise. Registered with the FDA, BioEDEN is the first tooth cell bank in the world to offer cellular isolation and storage services for these valuable tooth cells.
World health care is moving toward personalized medicine where treatment is customized for each individual, and the use of stem cells found in children primary teeth is a significant step toward that goal.
According to President Jeff Johnson, "Most people are aware of two main sources of stem cells: embryonic and cord blood. However there is a viable third source of cells: primary, or 'baby tooth' stem cells can also be useful in finding cures to numerous severe diseases and disabling medical conditions.
"BioEDEN is not a public cell bank. We isolate and store tooth cells, and return them to the original donor if they are ever needed. This way you don't have to worry about communicable diseases, tissue rejection, or immunosuppressive therapy. Our autologous banking system will contribute to successful therapies where it is imperative that the source of the stem cells be compatible with the recipient.
"It is critical that the cells be extracted quickly after the tooth falls out, and there are only 12 teeth that can be used for this process -- not every tooth contains cells with this potential."
Dr. Songtao Shi, Principle Investigator of the Dental Biology Unit at the National Institute of Health identified adult stem cells in primary children's teeth in 2003. Progenitor cells discovered include adiposites, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and mesenchymal stem cells. These types of cells are all being investigated for their ability to therapeutically treat many human diseases including heart disease, bone regeneration, and most promisingly neuronal degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and spinal cord injury.