Craniofacial tissue engineering promises the regeneration or de novo formation of dental, oral, and craniofacial structures lost to congenital anomalies, trauma, and diseases. Virtually all craniofacial structures are derivatives of mesenchymal cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are the offspring of mesenchymal cells following asymmetrical division, and reside in various craniofacial structures in the adult. Cells with characteristics of adult stem cells have been isolated from the dental pulp, the deciduous tooth, and the periodontium. Several craniofacial structures--such as the mandibular condyle, calvarial bone, cranial suture, and subcutaneous adipose tissue--have been engineered from mesenchymal stem cells, growth factor, and/or gene therapy approaches.
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Journal of Dental Research (Abstract: J Dent Res 85(11):966-979, 2006)