World Journal of Urology

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 1125–1132 | Cite as

Collagen cell carriers seeded with human urothelial cells for urethral reconstructive surgery: first results in a xenograft minipig model

  • Stefan Aufderklamm
  • Martin Vaegler
  • Alexandra Kelp
  • Sabine Maurer
  • Leon Gustafsson
  • Jens Mundhenk
  • Silke Busch
  • Lisa Daum
  • Arnulf Stenzl
  • Bastian Amend
  • Karl-Dietrich Sievert
Original Article



Urethral strictures are a common disease of the lower urinary tract in men. At present, the use of buccal mucosa is the method of choice for long or recurrent strictures. However, autologous tissue-engineered grafts are still under investigation for reconstructive urological surgery. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the use of human urothelial cells (HUC) seeded on bovine collagen type I-based cell carriers (CCC) in an animal model and to evaluate short-term outcome of the surgical procedure.


Four male Göttingen minipigs were used with immunosuppression (cyclosporine A) for this pilot xenograft study. HUC obtained from human benign ureteral tissue were stained by PKH26 and seeded on a collagen cell carrier (CCC). Seven weeks after urethral stricture induction and protective vesicostomy, cell-seeded CCC was implanted in the urethra with HUC luminal and antiluminal, respectively. After two weeks animals were euthanized, urethrography and histological assessment were performed.


Surgery was technically feasible in all minipigs. Stricture was radiologically established 7 weeks after induction. CCC was visible after two weeks and showed good integration without signs of inflammation or rejection. In the final urethrography, no remaining stricture could be detected. Near porcine urothelium, PKH26-positive areas were found even if partially detached from CCC. Although diminished, immunofluorescence with pankeratin, CK20, E-cadherin and ZO-1 showed intact urothelium in several areas on and nearby CCC.


Finally, this study demonstrates that the HUC-seeded CCC used as a xenograft in minipigs is technically feasible and shows promising results for further studies.


Xenograft Collagen matrix Human urothelial cells Reconstructive urology Urethra Tissue engineering 



The study was supported by Viscofan Bioengineering, a business unit of Naturin Viscofan GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. We want to thank Prof. Dr. Wilhelm K. Aicher for his help in evaluation of experimental data.

Authors’ contribution

SA analysed the data, wrote and edited the manuscript. MV was involved in protocol/project development, data collection or management. AK analysed the data. SM was involved in data collection or management, data analysis. LG, JM and LD contributed to data collection or management. SB developed the protocol/project, analysed the data and edited the manuscript. AS and K-DS were involved in protocol/project development, manuscript writing/editing. BA was involved in data collection or management, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. (Institutional ethics committee approval no. 379/2010BO2). All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Aufderklamm
    • 1
  • Martin Vaegler
    • 2
  • Alexandra Kelp
    • 1
  • Sabine Maurer
    • 1
  • Leon Gustafsson
    • 1
  • Jens Mundhenk
    • 3
  • Silke Busch
    • 4
  • Lisa Daum
    • 5
  • Arnulf Stenzl
    • 1
  • Bastian Amend
    • 1
  • Karl-Dietrich Sievert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of UrologyEberhard Karls University TuebingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC)University Clinic CharitéBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of UrologyDiakonie Hospital StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  4. 4.Viscofan, BioEngineeringWeinheimGermany
  5. 5.Animal Doctor FacilityNeustadt/AischGermany

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