Latest Trends in Gene Therapy and Tissue Engineering

Published:December 21st, 2011

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There have a number of significant achievements in the maintenance of gum tissue, in the dental industry. Current technological advancements allow dentists to regenerate gum tissue, which plays an important role in supporting teeth and securing them in place. This technology use gene therapy to stimulate gum tissue growth and repair.

This development has been pioneered by the University of Michigan and has gone through a number of clinical trials. The emphasis of the research is to develop a way to generate gum tissue therapy without posing any health or safety related risks to patients, through gene therapy. According to William Giannobile, professors at University of Michigan School of Dentistry, there are still some concerns around the issue of the safety of patients who are undergoing gene therapy. This sense of trepidation is justified considering the fact that a teenager who underwent a gene therapy treatment, died during the process.

U-M therapy versus Gene therapy

Both therapies utilize adenovirus, during treatment, but the dosage in U-M therapy is lower and administered directly to the gum tissue, in the form of a paste, to a localized part of the gum tissue . In gene therapy, adenovirus is injected directly into the blood stream, which can at times lead to unexpected developments which can be fatal to patients. It was under similar circumstances, which lead to the death of the teenager, mentioned above. This makes the University of Michigan approach to gene therapy, more superior and safer for use in treatment.

Professor William Giannobile indicates that the first round of treatment, for periodontal disease therapy, was a success and the distribution of genes proved to be effective and safe. He also indicated that the treatment is ready for clinical use. The biggest proponent for using this technology is in the treatment of periodontal diseases and diabetic wounds. These diseases are often brought about by a defective healing environment. Though, there is still some groundwork to be done, so as to address all safety concerns.

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