Scientists in Japan Successfully Create Fully Functional Bioengineered Salivary Glands

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Beverly Hills salivary gland expert Babak Larian, MD, FACS, of La Peer Health Systems in Los Angeles comments on this new development and what it could mean for patients with salivary gland disorders in the future.

Babak Larian MD
The salivary glands are a very important part of the body. Not only do they assist with swallowing and digestion, they also help fight off infection.

According to a Medical News Today article, two reviews published recently in the journal Nature Communications state that scientists from the Tokyo University of Science have engineered fully functional bioengineered salivary glands. Board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Babak Larian of the CENTER for Advanced Parotid Surgery in Beverly Hills states that this medical breakthrough could have exciting implications for future patients who struggle with salivary gland disorders.

"The salivary glands are a very important part of the body. Not only do they assist with swallowing and digestion, they also help fight off infection. Diseases and problems with the salivary gland can drastically impact a person’s quality of life and overall health," explained Dr. Larian.

In order to test their findings, the scientists in Japan transplanted the bioengineered salivary glands into mice who suffered from dry mouth. Current treatments for dry mouth can only increase the flow of saliva but do not restore functionality to the salivary gland. The scientists in Japan hope that this discovery will be a milestone for organ replacement therapy in the future. With the ability to create bioengineered salivary glands, patients suffering from dry mouth wouldn’t be the only ones to benefit.

"These developments present exciting potential for patients suffering from common salivary gland infections known as sialadenitis, chronic occurrence of salivary stones, or salivary gland cancer," stated Dr. Larian.

At the CENTER for Advanced Parotid Surgery in Beverly Hills, renowned surgeon Dr. Larian uses the minimally invasive sialendoscopy procedure to remove salivary gland stones from qualified patients. This revolutionary procedure is only performed by one other facility in Southern California and is beneficial to patients for numerous reasons. The sialendoscopy leaves no scars, no damage to the surrounding tissue, and has a quick recovery time that allows patients to go home the same day. Dr. Larian also uses minimally invasive surgery to remove salivary glands that are plagued with infection, tumors, or chronic salivary stones.

"Bioengineered salivary glands are an amazing potential advancement for patients with salivary gland disorders. Only time will tell if this will become a reality. Until then, we remain committed to providing quality care to our patients using the most effective and cutting-edge technology available," said Dr. Larian.

World-renowned parotid gland surgeon Babak Larian, MD, FACS, is a graduate of the highly regarded U.C. Irvine School of Medicine and has completed a six-year residency program in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery at UCLA. As the Director of the Center for Advanced Parotid Surgery in Los Angeles, Dr. Larian and his team of experts are responsible for the performance of cutting-edge minimally invasive salivary gland surgeries. Dr. Larian aims to provide his patients with the best possible care and surgical outcomes 100% of the time.

For more information about Dr. Larian and the CENTER for Advanced Parotid Surgery, please contact his office today by calling (310) 461-0300 or visit him on the web at:

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Risa Luksa

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