In case of a tooth loss, there are several techniques available for artificially replacing the tooth. However, most of these tooth replacement techniques require a severe surgical intervention. Moreover, most of these artificial implants do not fulfill all the physiological requirements a normal tooth should have. Thus there is a need for easily available, physiologically and long lasting transplants.
A Berlin-based German university has developed a method for the ex vivo development of a functional, three dimensional tooth germ. The germ is cultivated from human adult stem cells without using any substrate or growth factors. Cultivation is carried out in culture dishes with a flat bottom and without attaching the cells to the walls of the dish. According to the method stem cells are co-cultured with endothelial cells. Here the ratio between both cell types is important for an optimal formation and an optimal growth of the tooth germ. The tooth germ should be able to induce tooth growth in vitro and in vivo. The development includes an application system for the correct upright positioning of the germ transplant during surgery.
This three-dimensional in vitro organoid can be used as an in vivo transplant or as an in vitro test system.
The university is interested in a cooperation in the framework of a license agreement or a research cooperation agreement. A future licensee would have the authorization to use the technology in return for a fee or a share of royalties. The University is also open to a research cooperation agreement which leads to further development of the technology.