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NO.340 09.04.2017

New Therapeutic Innovation that Will Soon Replace Dental Implant

Professor Il Keun Kwon’s team at the Graduate School of Dentistry is selected for the “Advanced Technology of Biotooth for Regeneration of Tooth Tissues” project


The “Advanced Technology of Biotooth for Regeneration of Tooth Tissues” project, managed by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, aims to develop an innovative new therapeutic technology to replace the current dental implant. Professor Kwon’s team will receive about five billion KRW in research funding over the next five years.


The aim of the project is to raise the maturity of tooth regeneration technology to the level of commercial application, using autologous cells, biomaterial, and 3D printing. The use of autologous cells is expected to expand the clinical applicability of early stage biotooth, which up to this point was practically impossible.

Securing core technology and developing optimized biomaterial for biotooth
Professor Kwon’s team plans to use hydrogel-based biomaterial and 3D printing technology that can be optimized for each individual patient’s needs. The current dental implant technology is critically dependent upon the amount and the quality of osseointegration in dental alveoli to support the prosthesis. Professor Kwon’s new biotooth technology will be applicable regardless of the on-site condition, using the patient’s own induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC) rather than embryonic tooth germ. IPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cells that can be directly generated from adult cells from skin or bone tissue, for instance, by the treatment with special proteins. The research goal is to control the size and shape of the biotooth through dental epithelial stem cells and periodontal stem cells. This technology is also applicable in orthopedics. Professor Kwon said, “The dental hydrogel biomaterial can also be used to treat osteoporosis.”

Development of core technology and commercial application after the approval of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
The project will proceed in two stages. In the first stage (1st-3rd years), the focus will be on developing and acquiring core technology on dental biomaterial for dental tissue regeneration and biotooth. In the second stage (4th-5th years), the objectives are manufacturing prototypes of tooth tissue regeneration for technological demonstration and securing the test results to apply for a Biologics License Application of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (commonly known as KFDA). On this research project Professor Kwon said, “Our focus is on developing a set of core technologies that can embryologically create a normal tooth. We expect this tooth regeneration technology using biotooth to make a meaningful therapeutic contribution to improve the quality of life for patients.”

This research is led by Professor Kwon with the participation by Professor Eun Jung Kim of Yonsei University and Osstem Implant Co. LTD.

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