Artificial urinary bladder

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Steven C. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D.


Overview

An artificial urinary bladder is an artificial urinary bladder organ.

On April 4, 2006, it was announced that a team of biologists at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, led by Professor Anthony Atala, had created the world's first lab-grown organ, a bladder, and transplanted it into a human. Seven people between the ages four and 19, received transplants. The bladders were grown from a small sample of the patients' own bladder tissue, so there was no risk of transplant rejection. Traditionally, damaged urinary bladders are stitched back together using other tissue from the stomach or intestine. Patients with bladders made of intestinal tissues suffer unpleasant side-effects because intestinal tissues reabsorb chemicals that are meant to be eliminated through the urine.[1]

Development

On January 30, 1999, scientists announced that a lab-grown bladder had been successfully transplanted into dogs. These artificial bladders worked well for almost a year in the dogs. In 2000, a new procedure for creating artificial bladders for humans was developed. This procedure is called an orthotopic neobladder procedure. This procedure involves shaping a part (usually 35 to 40 inches) of a patient's small intestine to form a new bladder.

Procedure

First a CT scan of the patient is taken, to determine the shape of the bladder that must be created.

Next a tissue sample is taken from the patient's bladder. These cells are grown (this part of the process usually takes 4 weeks), and then layered onto a biodegradable "scaffold" in the shape that the required bladder is to take. Finally, the transplant procedure takes place. The entire bladder along with the biodegradable scaffold is transplanted. Over time, the biodegradable scaffold will degrade within the patient's body.[2]

References

  1. Trivedi, Bijal. "Top 13 Medicine Stories of 2006." Discover Jan. 2007. 23 Feb. 2007 <http://www.discover.com>.
  2. "Lab-Grown Bladders 'a Milestone'" <http://news.bbc.co.uk>.

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