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Adult Stem Cells Used to Create Jaw Joint

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U.S. researchers who used human adult stem cells to create part of a jaw joint in the laboratory said their success could lead to new ways to treat jaw problems and other types of bone disorders.

Stem cells taken from bone marrow were seeded into a tissue scaffold, which had been formed into a temporomandibular joint by using digital images from a patient. The cells were infused with the exact amount of nutrients found during natural bone development, BBC News reported.

The Columbia University study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The availability of personalized bone grafts engineered from the patient's own stem cells would revolutionize the way we currently treat these defects," said lead researcher Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, BBC News reported.

"We thought the jawbone would be the most rigorous test of our technique; if you can make this, you can make any shape," she noted.

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