The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

The Greatest gift for your children – saving their tooth stem cells

Malta Independent Sunday, 3 January 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 7 years ago

The non-invasive stem cell retrieval process from baby teeth is now available in the Maltese Islands, making Malta one of the first EU countries to introduce this technology

BioEDEN has developed a new process to collect, isolate and store stem cells from children’s naturally shed baby teeth.

Stem Cell Therapy is one of the most exciting and promising treatments used to cure a number of debilitating diseases and injuries that could occur throughout a lifetime such as bone, tendon, cartilage, juvenile diabetes, diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord and other nerve damage injuries, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.

Retrieving and storing Stem Cells

In 2003, Dr Songtao Shi, a bio-scientist at the US National Institute of Health, discovered that children’s baby teeth hold an abundant source of these precious stem cells.

Tooth stem cells are found in baby or children’s “deciduous” teeth. These teeth fall out naturally or can be extracted when a child is between six and 11 years old and the BioEDEN process makes it possible for these tooth stem cells to be saved for use whenever they may be needed.

The stem cells are stored in the gaseous stage of liquid nitrogen for years and are only retrieved when the child or another member of the family needs to use them. In order to preserve the stem cells in a secure environment, the BioEDEN laboratories divide the cultivated stem cells in two, one sample is stored in the laboratory while the second sample is stored in a distant and undisclosed site. The second sample is kept at a separate storage facility as a backup, for security and peace of mind.

Parents who register for the service will receive a collection kit, which includes instructions on how to preserve the tooth before sending it to the BioEDEN laboratories. Once the child’s tooth falls out parents simply need to place the tooth in the storage container provided, which is then filled with fresh milk and sent to the UK. From this one tooth the BioEDEN laboratories are able to extract and store a minimum of 1,000,000 stem cells.

Non-invasive and risk-free method

The BioEDEN process offers parents a non-invasive and non-controversial method of collecting tooth stem cells from their children’s baby teeth and preserving them for their children if ever they are needed in the future. Suffice it to say that much of the initial work on stem cells from teeth was supported by a Vatican grant.

“Stem cell therapy has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of human disease. However, there has been some strong criticism of embryonic stem cell research and certain groups of doctors and nurses remain critical of the collection of Stem Cells taken from umbilical cord blood,” explained Dr Joseph Xuereb, the newly appointed representative of BioEDEN in the Maltese Islands.

“Because there are no grounds for any religious objections or concerns and no medical criticism, the BioEDEN process releases the full potential of stem cell therapy as it is totally non-invasive, has no risks to the mother or child and potentially gives tremendous health benefits to families for many years to come!” added Dr Xuereb.

“It can be described as ‘Biological Insurance’ for your family. It makes sense to preserve these potentially life-saving cells for a child, rather than discard them.” says Jim Curtis, managing director of BioEDEN.

“BioEDEN is committed to making modern medicine an affordable reality to everyone. We are really pleased to be working with Dr Xuereb and extending our service, through him, to the people of Malta and Gozo. Dr Xuereb has been passionate about ensuring that the Maltese Islands are among the first countries in Europe to benefit from our service.”

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