New shrinking gel steers tooth tissue formation

A new bioinspired sponge-like gel shrinks single-handedly, squeezing unspecialized cells inside it and turning them into cells that begin to form teeth. The new material was inspired by the embryo’s power to shape organs, and it could enable engineering of new teeth, bone, or other tissues, scientists report.(10.1002/adma.201304995)

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Author: Robert Slinn

Robert Slinn is ChemSpy's guest columnist. You can read his chemical news updates under the banner "Slinn Pickings". Robert is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and is a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. He has extensive experience in R&D: synthesis, analysis and analytical methods development; troubleshooting, consultancy, and teaching/training methods in industry and in academia. Robert is also 'Physical Methods' author for the Specialist Periodical Report series 'Organophosphorus Chemistry', published by Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK. Robert has worked alongside David on the Bedside Book of Chemistry and a major Thomson-Reuters report on the state of the pharmaceutical industry for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry