Devon

Father pays for 'life-saving' milk tooth cells to be frozen

Stem cell research Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Stem cells are still at an early stage of development, and retain the potential to turn into many different types of cell

A father has paid almost £1,000 for his daughter's milk tooth to be frozen to preserve stem cells which he believes could save her life.

Laurence Delamaar, from Chulmleigh, Devon, has been paying almost £100 a year for the tooth to be stored at -195 C over the past 10 years.

He said it was a "good medical insurance policy" for his daughter.

Stem cells have been used in trials aimed at curing blindness and in cases linked to diabetes.

'Thought I was nuts'

Stem cells are still at an early stage of development, and retain the potential to turn into many different types of cell.

Mr Delamaar said: "Who knows when you will use this facility and medical science has obviously progressed so much since 2006.

He said it could be used for wear and tear on knees, cartilage problems or something much more serious.

"She probably thought I was nuts when it was first frozen when she was 12 years old, but is now thinking laterally," he said.

Tony Veverka, from company BioEden, said: "The concept of storing the material is well established.

"Human tissue is stored at -195 C and sperm banks are a good example of material that has been stored for many years."

Among the conditions which scientists believe may eventually be treated by stem cell therapy are Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, burns and spinal cord damage.

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