March 08, 2011
Grown Replacement Urethras Work In Kids

Regeneration and rejuvenation will become possible as a result of tissue engineering research aimed at growing replacement parts.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – March 7, 2011 – Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues reported today on a new advance in tissue engineering. The team is the first in the world to use patients’ own cells to build tailor-made urinary tubes and successfully replace damaged tissue.

In an article published Online First by The Lancet, the research team reports replacing damaged segments of urinary tubes (urethras) in five boys. Tests to measure urine flow and tube diameter showed that the engineered tissue remained functional throughout the six-year (median) follow-up period.

“These findings suggest that engineered urethras can be used successfully in patients and may be an alternative to the current treatment, which has a high failure rate,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., senior author, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a pediatric urologic surgeon. “This is an example of how the strategies of tissue engineering can be applied to multiple tissues and organs.” 

Humans differ from cars in that cars can have their parts replaced when the parts wear out. When crucial human parts wear out we get sick and eventually die. When scientists succeed to growing replacement parts for all of our bodies (except our brains) then death due to aging will become avoidable as long as brain rejuvenation techniques can be made to work.

Atala's team has previously succeeded in growing replacement bladders that work in humans. Atala's team is also working on development of tissue engineering techniques to repair the bodies of damaged soldiers. More successes from his team and other labs will keep getting reported. Many body parts will be replaceable in 10 years.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 March 08 11:29 PM  Biotech Tissue Engineering


Comments
woozle said at March 12, 2011 5:00 PM:

From what I understand, a relatively small portion of the brain is responsible for what makes us the people we are, so presumably the rest of the brain could be replaced with new growth at the cost of some mental retraining to learn to use the new pieces.

There are parts of my brain I would be happy to have regrown in the hope that the new pieces would work better than the old ones... even if it meant some superficial personality changes.

Shelly said at November 21, 2011 12:42 PM:

My sister has been taking my niece to a Cincinnati urologist. She was born premature and has had urinary tract issues since birth. The poor little thing has had multiple surgeries and she's not even 3. I will forward this article to my sister. Maybe she can research more information or talk to her doctor about these latest developments.

Elaine Patton said at February 11, 2015 6:42 AM:

Tissue engineering is still in its child age. I would love to see some remarkable progress within few years. Also I would love to see the treatment is not expensive so that only the rich people can afford.

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