Did you know Salivary Science was a thing?
Beginning in 2005, an international team of graduate students from the University of Delaware and the Christina Care Health System in Newark, DE has been making a bold attempt to engineer an implantable replacement salivary gland.
They were all forewarned that, based on several failed attempts by other groups, the acinar cells of the salivary glands were particularly hard to isolate and grow outside of the body.
Team Lead Swati Padhan-Bhatt made the discovery that certain salivary gland tissues contained previously unknown human stem and progenitor cells, called hs/PCs. Pradhan-Bhatt and her colleagues went on to develop a 3D system to grow the saliva-producing acinar, and actually began to see saliva production. Read the full article here.
Although many technical challenges remain in engineering a replacement set of salivary glands, hopes are now higher for those suffering with chronic dry mouth from surgeries, radiation therapies, and other health challenges. For those, this science could be the answer they’re looking for. In the mean time, avoiding all tobacco products and caffeine, and using over-the-counter mouth sprays, or sugar free gum can provide temporary relief.
If you suffer from dry mouth, or have other concerns, please schedule an appointment.
From The Science of Saliva, May 3, 2018 Dr. Francis Collins