Tissue engineering will speed up oral wound healing

February 3rd, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 3 (IANS) A gum tissue or gingival substitute, developed by a Dutch research team, helps accelerate wound healing in oral cavity or mouth. “Our results represent a large step forward in the area of clinical applications in oral tissue engineering, which until now have lagged behind skin tissue engineering,” said study author Susan Gibbs of the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

Gibbs said skin substitutes have been far more advanced than oral gingival substitutes and until now no oral tissue-engineered products have been available for clinical applications.

The team was the first to develop an autologous (same patient) full thickness skin substitute that Gibbs said is “proving to be very successful”.

However, they wanted to develop an autologous, full thickness oral substitute with the correct oral characteristics.

“Reconstructive surgery within the oral cavity is required during tumour excision, cleft palate repair, trauma, repair of diseased tissue and for generating soft tissue around teeth and dental implants,” explained Gibbs.

“Drawbacks of using skin as an autograft material in the oral cavity include bulkiness, sweating and hair formation and the limited amount of donor tissue available,” she said.

They used small amounts of patient oral tissue obtained from biopsies, then cultured and expanded the tissues in vitro over a three-week period, said a VU University release.

Results of the study with a small number of patients showed that the gingival substitute was “promising” and supported the need to carry out a larger patient study in the future.

The work was reported in the current issue of Cell Transplantation.

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