By: Laurie Edwards for Dental1
British researchers are developing a tofu-based paste that acts as a filler and can help mend broken bones and tissues. For the dental community, the implications for those suffering from periodontal disease are significant given the paste’s regenerative properties.
|Other Benefits of Tofu:|
Reduces both total and LDL cholesterol
May ease the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.
Tofu may decrease the risk of developing several types of cancer. It contains geinstein, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells, and selenium, which is thought to inhibit colon cancer.
Tofu is rich in calcium, which may help reduce the incidence of osteoporotic bone fractures.
Find ways to incorporate tofu into your diet. Try making a stir fry with tofu, vegetables, soy sauce, and garlic, or blending soft tofu with apple juice and bananas to create a breakfast smoothie.
This new approach offers several advantages over existing options. Previously, most materials used in regeneration were animal-based in composition. Some disadvantages include the high cost of animal-based products and the innate risk of disease transmission from animal products to humans.
In addition, patients’ immune systems are often sensitive to animal-based components and react to them as foreign entities and ultimately rejecting them.
“The innovation is that it accelerates the growth of the patient’s own bone, rather than using an artificial substitute which the body could react against. Crucially, it also combats inflammation,” said lead researcher Dr. Matteo Santin of the University of Brighton’s School of Pharmacy.
In contrast, the vegetable-based material is gleaned from de-fatted soybean curds and can help encourage bone growth and tissue regeneration. Not only is it not rejected by the body as foreign agents, as it breaks down through biodegradation, the paste actually releases natural anti-inflammatory agents.
For dental surgeons specifically, the paste can help counteract periodontal disease by assisting the re-growth of the bones surrounding weakened and diseased teeth.
Scientists also hope it will give dental implants a greater possibility of long-term impact. The implants – posts that replace missing roots to help support dental crowns or bridges – do not always interact well with the jaw bone. Thus, the new vegetable-based filler could substantially improve their success rate.
“It will be suitable for anyone who has lost a tooth, making implants available to many more people. We’re keen to develop a gel or paste which dentists will be able to use in any mouth, irrespective of the bone defect,” Santin said.
The paste is an investment project backed by the United Kingdom’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.
NESTA’s Director of Invention and Innovation Mark White commented that “cheap and simple to manufacture, the tofu-based biomaterial is the first to integrate quickly with a patient’s own tissues, and encourage re-growth of the surrounding tissue.”
Together with the Dr. Santin’s team and the University of Naples and WessexBio, the researchers eventually hope to expand the paste’s uses to include wound dressing and other regenerative applications.