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Arch Oral Biol. 2014 Jun;59(6):559-67. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2014.02.014. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Differences of isolated dental stem cells dependent on donor age and consequences for autologous tooth replacement.

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  • 1Institute of Functional and Applied Anatomy, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany.
  • 2Department of Prosthetic Dentistry and Biomedical Materials Science, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany. Electronic address:
  • 3Department of Prosthetic Dentistry and Biomedical Materials Science, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany.



Autologous therapy via stem cell-based tissue regeneration is an aim to rebuild natural teeth. One option is the use of adult stem cells from the dental pulp (DPSCs), which have been shown to differentiate into several types of tissue in vitro and in vivo, especially into tooth-like structures. DPSCs are mainly isolated from the dental pulp of third molars routinely extracted for orthodontic reasons. Due to the extraction of third molars at various phases of life, DPSCs are isolated at different developmental stages of the tooth.


The present study addressed the question whether DPSCs from patients of different ages were similar in their growth characteristics with respect to the stage of tooth development. Therefore DPSCs from third molars of 12-30 year-old patients were extracted, and growth characteristics, e.g. doubling time and maximal cell division potential were analysed. In addition, pulp and hard dental material weight were recorded.


Irrespective of the age of patients almost all isolated cells reached 40-60 generations with no correlation between maximal cell division potential and patient age. Cells from patients <22 years showed a significantly faster doubling time than the cells from patients ≥22 years.


The age of patients at the time of stem cell isolation is not a crucial factor concerning maximal cell division potential, but does have an impact on the doubling time. However, differences in individuals regarding growth characteristics were more pronounced than age-dependent differences.


Hayflick’ limit; Stem cell banking; Tissue engineering; Tooth regeneration

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