World's First Tissue-Engineered Urethras Deemed a Success

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 13:01 in Biology & Nature

Growing Spare Urethras in the Lab From the patient's own cells. Courtesy Wake Forest UniversityThe organs were grown from the patients' own cells Six years ago, researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine used tissue-engineering techniques to grow new urethras for five young male patients from their own cells. Now, an article published in the Lancet has declared the procedure a success. Each of the boys is now in good physical health, with a new urethra that has repaired the defects previously present. The success of the transplants is a victory for the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine on the whole. For Professor Anthony Atala and his team at Wake Forest, it's another feather in a crowded cap. Just last week at TED Atala printed out a biocompatible model of a human kidney on stage using a an desktop printer analog loaded with cells rather than ink. In...

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