Male urinary anatomy illustration showing the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra
In a move that augurs well for the engineering of replacement tissues and organs, researchers have reported the world's first successful implantation of urinary tubes grown in the laboratory using the patients' own cells. Between March 2004 and July 2007, the research team from the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues engineered urinary tubes, or urethras, for five boys aged 10 to 14 using cells from the boys' own bladders to replace damaged segments. Tests showed the engineered tissue remained functional throughout the median six-year follow-up period.
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