Organ-specific acellular matrix for reconstruction of the urinary tract
In urology, replacement of organs or organ segments has proved problematic. Current techniques do not replicate complete organ function, and they cause well-known complications. With the acellular organ-specific matrix we have found a way to regenerate tissue components seen in the normal lower urinary tract. The time required for regeneration depends on the matrix size and function. The matrix is covered by urothelium migrating from the host, after which neovascularization occurs, followed by formation of smooth-muscle cells and nerves. In our studies, normal muscle lining and nerves providing functional tissue were demonstrable and no sign of antigenicity was evident, even after heterologous grafting. The regenerated rat bladder was evaluated by organ bath as well as by in vivo functional tests and demonstrated properties and functions similar to those of host tissue. Besides our obtaining encouraging results in the rat bladder, we also studied the organ-specific acellular matrix in other species (dog and rabbit) and other organ segments (ureter and urethra).
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