[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 30-Jun-2010
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society

Nano-sized advance toward next big treatment era in dentistry

Scientists are reporting an advance toward the next big treatment revolution in dentistry the era in which root canal therapy brings diseased teeth back to life, rather than leaving a "non-vital" or dead tooth in the mouth. In a report in the monthly journal ACS Nano, they describe a first-of-its-kind, nano-sized dental film that shows early promise for achieving this long-sought goal.

Nadia Benkirane-Jessel and colleagues note that root canal procedures help prevent tooth loss in millions of people each year. During the procedure, a dentist removes the painful, inflamed pulp, the soft tissue inside the diseased or injured tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. Regenerative endodontics, the development and delivery of tissues to replace diseased or damaged dental pulp, has the potential to provide a revolutionary alternative to pulp removal.

The scientists are reporting development of a multilayered, nano-sized film only 1/50,000th the thickness of a human hair containing a substance that could help regenerate dental pulp. Previous studies show that the substance, called alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone, or alpha-MSH, has anti-inflammatory properties. The scientists showed in laboratory tests alpha-MSH combined with a widely-used polymer produced a material that fights inflammation in dental pulp fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the main type of cell found in dental pulp. Nano-films containing alpha-MSH also increased the number of these cells. This could help revitalize damaged teeth and reduce the need for a root canal procedure, the scientists suggest.

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ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Nanostructured Assemblies for Dental Application"

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/nn100713m

CONTACT:
Nadia Benkirane-Jessel, Ph.D.
INSERM U977
Strasbourg, France
Phone: 33 03 90 24 33 76 (day) 33 03 90 24 33 78 (evening)
Fax: 33 03 90 24 33 79
Email: nadia.jessel@medecine.u-strasbg.fr



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