By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health, March 8, 2011:
Growing tissue outside the body -- and then making it work inside the body -- is an effort still in its infancy. But it has promise. Much promise. Now researchers have pushed the promise of regenerative medicine closer to reality, by creating urethras out of cells grown in a lab.
Researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina report that they have successfully taken tissue from five boys who had urethral defects, coaxed that tissue to grow on "tubularised polyglycolic acid:poly(lactide-co-glycolide acid) scaffolds" -- i.e., they turned the tissue into tubes -- and successfully inserted the tubes into the boys.
An account of their work was published Tuesday in the Lancet. The short version: The grafts appeared normal three months after they were implanted. Read more>>