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Scientists succeed in growing functional salivary gland

October 11, 2018

A research group led by scientists from Showa University and the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research in Japan have, for the first time, succeeded in growing three-dimensional salivary gland tissue that, when implanted into mice, produced saliva like normal glands.

When patients lose some organ function due to disease or injury, it would be ideal to simply regrow the lost organ. But this is difficult—organogenesis is a complex and tightly regulated process that involves special stem cells that are fated to become specific tissues. However, with the exception of some organs such as hair follicles, those precursor cells are only present during early development.

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