Stretchable collagen-coated polyurethane-urea hydrogel seeded with bladder smooth muscle cells for urethral defect repair in a rabbit model

  • Chengyuan Wang
  • Chunyang Chen
  • Mingyu Guo
  • Bin LiEmail author
  • Fengxuan HanEmail author
  • Weiguo ChenEmail author
Special Issue: CESB 2019 Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue: CESB 2019


The major challenge to treat the clinical adverse effects of long-segment urethra is in achieving viable tissue substitution. The substituted construct’s properties-such as its resilience, contraction, and ability to minimize scar-stenosis formation should be considered. In the present work, a unique polyurethane-urea (PUU) fibrous membrane is fabricated by electrospinning. Then PUU was coated by collagen and formed the elasticity hydrogel after immersed in collagen solution. Meanwhile, the cPUU hydrogel exhibited a fibrous microstructure. This cPUU hydrogel had outstanding stretching property with 404 ± 40% elongation at break compared with traditional hydrogels, which satisfied the requirement of urethra. The cPUU hydrogel also supported the adhesion and growth of bladder smooth-muscle cells (BSMCs) in natural state cell morphology. Urethral defects in New Zealand male rabbits were repaired with cPUU seeded with BSMCs in vivo. After three months, more smooth-surface area of reconstructed urethral tissues was observed in the cPUU hydrogel-BMSCs groups compared with that of the control group. The luminal patency and the incidence of complications-including calculus formation, urinary fistula, and urethral-stricture occurrence were significantly lower in the cPUU group compared with that of the control group. Hence, cPUU fibrous hydrogels are promising scaffolds for application in urological tissue engineering.



This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC1100203), National Natural Science Foundation of China (81672213, 31872748), Jiangsu Provincial Clinical Orthopedic Center, and the Priority Academic Program Development (PAPD) of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

Authors’ contributions

Weiguo Chen, Fengxuan Han and Bin Li conceived and designed the experiments; Professor Mingyu Guo provided the PUU materials; Chunyang Chen and Chengyuan Wang performed the experiments with the help of Fengxuan Han; Chunyang Chen and Chengyuan Wang analyzed the data; Chengyuan Wang and Fengxuan Han wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urology, The First Affiliated HospitalSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Orthopaedic Institute, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Material ScienceSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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