Bone and dental tissues in craniofacial region work as an important aesthetic and functional unit. Reconstruction
of craniofacial tissue defects is highly expected to ensure patients to maintain good quality of life. Tissue engineering
and regenerative medicine have been developed in the last two decades, and been advanced with the stem cell technology.
Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells are one of the most extensively studied post-natal stem cell population, and
are widely utilized in cell-based therapy. Dental tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells are a relatively new stem cell
population that isolated from various dental tissues. These cells can undergo multilineage differentiation including osteogenic
and odontogenic differentiation, thus provide an alternative source of mesenchymal stem cells for tissue engineering.
In this review, we discuss the important issues in mesenchymal stem cell biology including the origin and functions
of mesenchymal stem cells, compare the properties of these two types of mesenchymal cells, update recent basic research
and clinic applications in this field, and address important future challenges.
Keywords: Bone marrow, craniofacial, dental stem cell, mesenchymal stem cells, regeneration, tissue engineering.
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