People lose teeth for all sorts of reasons, whether it's through neglect, age, or sports injuries. A team of Chinese scientists from the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health is working on an unusual way to replace those missing chompers.
The researchers derived stem cells from urine as a starting point. The experiment involved combining those stem cells with material from mice. Implanting it back into mice resulted in the growth of what looks like little teeth.
"The tooth-like structure contained dental pulp, dentin, enamel space, and enamel organ," the researchers reported.
If you're a fan of science paper titles, this is a good one: "Generation of tooth-like structures from integration-free human urine induced pluripotent stem cells." The research was published in Cell Regeneration.
The results are rudimentary at this point. The harvested teeth are not as strong as regular teeth, but the scientists are hopeful that the work could one day lead to "the final dream of total regeneration of human teeth for clinical therapy."
It's conceivable people in the future could receive implants that allow them to grow new teeth. There just might be some concern over using urine to get there.