Researchers from the University of Nottingham and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have developed therapeutic synthetic, light-curable, biomaterials for dental treatments that support native dental stem cells inside teeth to repair and regenerate dentin.


Is this the end of root canal treatments?
Revolutionary 'stem cell fillings' trigger teeth to repair themselves

- This Synthetic biomaterials are used in a similar way to dental fillings
- Material is placed in direct contact with pulp tissue
- This stimulates the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration

The approach could significantly impact millions of dental patients each year by dental fillings that help heal teeth when they are injured from dental disease or dental surgery.

The research won second prize in the materials category of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Emerging Technologies Competition 2016.

Dr Adam Celiz, Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, said:

"Existing dental fillings are toxic to cells and are therefore incompatible with pulp tissue inside the tooth. In cases of dental pulp disease and injury a root canal is typically performed to remove the infected tissues."

"We have designed synthetic biomaterials that can be used similarly to dental fillings but can be placed in direct contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration of pulp tissue and the surrounding dentin. Our approach has great promise to impact the dental field and this prize provides a great platform to develop this technology further with industrial partners."

David Mooney, the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the John Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, added:

"These materials may provide an effective and practical approach to allow a patient to regenerate components of their own teeth."


Dr Kyle Vining, DDS, Fellow at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University said:

"We are excited about the promise of therapeutic biomaterials for bringing regenerative medicine to restorative dentistry."

Applications for this competition were judged on the degree of innovation of the technology, its potential impact, and the quality of the science behind it. The groups will receive tailored business support from multinational partner companies, business training, media support, and a cash prize of £3,000.

Read more about Root Canal Treatments here