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Open Access Translational Research and Therapeutic Applications of Stem Cell Transplantation in Periodontal Regenerative Medicine

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Stem cells have received a great deal of interest from the research community as potential therapeutic “tools” for a variety of chronic debilitating diseases that lack clinically effective therapies. Stem cells are also of interest for the regeneration of tooth-supporting tissues that have been lost to periodontal disease. Indeed, substantial data have demonstrated that the exogenous administration of stem cells or their derivatives in preclinical animal models of periodontal defects can restore damaged tissues to their original form and function. As we discuss here, however, considerable hurdles must be overcome before these findings can be responsibly translated to novel clinical therapies. Generally, the application of stem cells for periodontal therapy in clinics will not be realized until the best cell(s) to use, the optimal dose, and an effective mode of administration are identified. In particular, we need to better understand the mechanisms of action of stem cells after transplantation in the periodontium and to learn how to preciously control stem cell fates in the pathological environment around a tooth. From a translational perspective, we outline the challenges that may vary across preclinical models for the evaluation of stem cell therapy in situations that require periodontal reconstruction and the safety issues that are related to clinical applications of human stem cells. Although clinical trials that use autologous periodontal ligament stem cells have been approved and have already been initiated, proper consideration of the technical, safety, and regulatory concerns may facilitate, rather than inhibit, the clinical translation of new therapies.
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Keywords: Clinical trials; Periodontal regeneration; Preclinical models; Regulatory concerns; Safety issues; Stem cell-based therapy; Translational research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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