Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laboratory-Grown Replacement Of Penile Erectile Tissue In Animals Suggests Potential To Benefit Patients

Date:
November 11, 2009
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
In an advance that could one day enable surgeons to reconstruct and restore function to damaged or diseased penile tissue in humans, researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have used tissue engineering techniques to completely replace penile erectile tissue in rabbits. This is the most complete replacement of penile erectile tissue to date and suggests the possibility of using the same approach for men with erectile dysfunction or conditions that require reconstruction, including penile cancer and congenital abnormalities.

In an advance that could one day enable surgeons to reconstruct and restore function to damaged or diseased penile tissue in humans, researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine have used tissue engineering techniques to completely replace penile erectile tissue in animals.

Related Articles


In the online early edition (Nov. 9-13) of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report success using cells from rabbits to grow replacement penile erectile tissue for the animals in the laboratory. After implantation with the replacement tissue, the rabbits had normal sexual function and produced offspring. This is the most complete replacement of functional penile erectile tissue reported to date.

"Further studies are required, of course, but our results are encouraging and suggest that the technology has considerable potential for patients who need penile reconstruction," said Anthony Atala, M.D., institute director. "Our hope is that patients with congenital abnormalities, penile cancer, traumatic injury and some cases of erectile dysfunction will benefit from this technology in the future."

Reconstructing damaged or diseased penile erectile tissue has traditionally been a challenge because of the tissue's unique structure and complex function. There is no replacement for this tissue that allows for normal sexual function. Various surgeries have been attempted, often multi-stage procedures that can involve a silicone penile prosthesis, but natural erectile function is generally not restored.

The Wake Forest Baptist scientists set out to solve this problem by working to engineer replacement erectile tissue in the lab. In an earlier study, also in rabbits, they engineered short segments of erectile tissue that had 50 percent of the function of native tissue. The current study attempted to improve on those results.

The Wake Forest Baptist team was the first in the world to engineer a human organ in the laboratory --bladders that have been implanted in almost 30 children and adults. Many of the same techniques used to build bladders were used in the current study.

The scientists first harvested smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells, the same type of cells that line blood vessels, from the animals' erectile tissue. These cells were multiplied in the laboratory. Using a two-step process, the cells were injected into a three-dimensional scaffold that provided support while the cells developed. As early as one month after implanting the scaffold in the animal's penis, organized tissue with vessel structures began to form.

The cells were injected into scaffolds on two separate days, enabling them to hold almost six times as many smooth muscle cells as in the previous studies -- which the scientists believe was a key to success. During an erection, it is the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue that allows an influx of blood into the penis. The relaxation is triggered by the release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells.

"Increasing the density of smooth muscle cells led to normal erectile pressures within the tissue," said Atala, who is also a professor and chair of urology at Wake Forest Baptist.

Functional testing of the implanted tissue showed that vessel pressure within the erectile tissue was normal, that blood flowed smoothly through it, that the response to nitric oxide-induced relaxation was normal as early as one month after implantation, and that veins drained normally after erection.

When the animals with the engineered tissue mated with females, vaginal swabs contained sperm in eight of 12 instances and four of the 12 females were impregnated.

"These results are encouraging," said Atala. "They indicate the possibility of using laboratory-engineered tissue in men who require reconstructive procedures. A lack of erectile tissue currently prevents us from restoring sexual function to these patients."

The erectile tissue the scientists engineered is known as the corpora cavernosa penis. Two columns of this sponge-like tissue form a significant part of the penis. These structures, which are bound together with connective tissue and covered with skin, fill with blood during erection.

Co-researchers on the project were Kuo-Liang Chen, M.D., China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, Daniel Eberli, M.D., University of Zurich, Switzerland, and James Yoo, M.D., Ph.D., with Wake Forest. Chen and Eberli were both at Wake Forest at the time the research was conducted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Laboratory-Grown Replacement Of Penile Erectile Tissue In Animals Suggests Potential To Benefit Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173356.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2009, November 11). Laboratory-Grown Replacement Of Penile Erectile Tissue In Animals Suggests Potential To Benefit Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173356.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Laboratory-Grown Replacement Of Penile Erectile Tissue In Animals Suggests Potential To Benefit Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109173356.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins