Scientists Grow New Teeth From Urine

by on 30/07/13 at 8:43 am

Miles Harper-Jones, a 24 year old from London, says he welcomes new teeth, but worries about 'some Chinese lad taking the piss' in his face. "You know, me thinks that's a very private thing and to have a perfect stranger do it makes me a tad upset."

Miles Harper-Jones, a 24 year old from London, says he welcomes new teeth, but worries about ‘some Chinese lad taking the piss’ in his face. “You know, me thinks that’s a very private thing to have done and having a perfect stranger do it makes me a tad upset.”

Guangzhou, China – (

Scientists have grown rudimentary teeth out of the most unlikely of sources, human urine. The results, published in Cell Regeneration Journal, showed that urine could be used as a source of stem cells that in turn could be grown into tiny tooth-like structures.

The team from China hopes the technique could be developed into a way of replacing lost teeth. Other stem cell researchers caution that that goal faces many challenges.

Teams of researchers around the world are looking for ways of growing new teeth to replace those lost with age and poor dental hygiene.

Stem cells – the master cells which can grow into any type of tissue – are a popular area of research.

The group at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health used urine as the starting point.

Cells which are normally passed from the body, such as those from the lining of the body’s waterworks, are harvested in the laboratory. These collected cells are then coaxed into becoming stem cells.

A mix of these cells and other material from a local mouse was implanted into a mouse from Britain.

The researchers said that after three weeks the bundle of cells started to resemble a tooth: “The tooth-like structure contained dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ.”

However, the “teeth” were not as hard as natural teeth and quickly crumbled after the mouse ate some Stilson cheese.

This piece of research is not immediately going to lead to new options for the dentist, but the researchers say it could lead to further studies towards “the final dream of total regeneration of human teeth for clinical therapy and our hopes to end the reign of the preverbial Tooth Fairy”.

Prof Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, said urine was a poor starting point, but did admit the procedure would be popular in Britain, a hotspot for poor oral care and noted for teeth that are normally gray and cavity prone.

“It is probably one of the worst sources, there are very few cells in the first place and the efficiency of turning them into stem cells is very low.

“You just wouldn’t do it in this way.”

He also warned that the risk of contamination, such as through bacteria, was much higher than with other sources of cells.

Prof Mason added: “The big challenge here is the teeth have got a pulp with nerve and blood vessels which have to make sure they integrate to get permanent teeth,besides that there’s even more suspect problems namely having people stand there while someone pisses into their mouth for up to five minutes.”

2 Responses to “Scientists Grow New Teeth From Urine”

  1. captain america

    Jul 30th, 2013

    …a God send for the UK….a whole new meaning for takin’ the piss..

  2. DBM

    Feb 15th, 2014

    At least being made from urine they are the same color as many brits teeth so color matching will be easy:-)

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