Stem Cells in Craniofacial Development and Regeneration 2013 PDF
This book project was motivated by the need to present in one place current knowledge on the regulation of normal development of craniofacial tissues, and on the characteristics of tissue-specific stem cells and their potential use in bioengineering/regeneration of craniofacial tissues and organs. It has become obvious that knowledge of the mechanisms of normal development will be essential when tissues and organs are attempted to generate from stem and progenitor cells. In particular, developmental biology research has unraveled the key roles of cell–cell interactions in all developmental processes, and identified specific signal molecules as the molecular mediators of these interactions. These same signals are the main tools in guiding stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the process of tissue regeneration via bioengineering technologies.
In recent years there have been huge advances in stem cell biology and in characterization of pluripotent stem cells and tissue-specific stem cells. The discovery of reprogramming differentiated cells to pluripotent stem cells has opened the possibility of using the patient’s own cells for a variety of biomedical applications. Various adult stem cells have also been tested for their tissue regeneration potential. At the same time, major strides have been made in the field of tissue engineering. Engineered organs have been transplanted into patients to restore damaged ones. Strategies and study models for engineering and regenerating craniofacial tissues and organs, including teeth, have also shed light on their future clinical applications.
In the first part of the book, there are nine chapters summarizing the current knowledge on developmental mechanisms involved in selected craniofacial tissues and organs. During embryogenesis, the morphogenesis and cell differentiation are intimately linked. The complex shapes of organs, as well as the specialized cell types, are generated in concert step-by-step from progenitor cells.
The second part elaborates on stem cells and their niches. It covers the general area of stem cells, including embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. The physiological renewal and regeneration of tissues is based on stem cells. Postnatal stem cells of various tissue origins are reviewed with an emphasis on their potential application for craniofacial tissue regeneration. Tissue-specific stem cells, such as salivary gland stem cells and tooth stem cells, have been identified and characterized in craniofacial tissues. The details on stem cells and their differentiation are best known in continuously renewing tissues such as bone. However, stem cells are also present in adult permanent teeth, for example, pulp tissue, functioning as the source of replacement odontoblasts to form new dentin.
The third part gives an overview of ongoing research on bioengineering of craniofacial tissues, including bone, muscle, dental tissues, periodontal tissues, and teeth. The use of scaffolds, growth factors, and stem cells are the key elements for engineered tissue regeneration.
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