Monday, 18 February 2013

Bone marrow stem cells for bladder regeneration

Researchers from the Northwestern University have released a new study where they describe a method for bladder regeneration using a combination of bone marrow stem cells and synthetic scaffolds. The study has potential in the development of new therapeutic methods for end-stage neurogenic bladder disease (ENBD) and other bladder-related conditions.

In ENBD, the nerves responsible for carrying the messages between the bladder and the brain stop working properly, which in turn causes an inability to pass urine. The most common solution for ENDB is a surgical procedure called augmentation cystoplasty. During the operation, the surgeons create a patch from the patient's bowel and place it over the diseased organ in order to increase its size. However augmentation cystoplasty comes with several problems, with the most common ones being the development of electrolyte imbalance and bladder cancer.

Image showing where the bladder is located
Image showing the location of the bladder (yellow)

The approach proposed by the researchers, led by Arun K. Sharma, involves the use of the patient's own  stem cells for bladder tissue regeneration. The stem cells are taken from the bone marrow and are used to recreate smooth muscle, vasculature, and nerve tissue.

"We have used the spina bifida patient population as a proof of concept model because those patients typically have bladder dysfunction. However, this regeneration approach could be used for people suffering from a variety of bladder issues where the bone marrow microenvironment is deemed normal." Sharma said.

According to the researchers, their method offers all the benefits of augmentation cystoplasty but none of its risks. Their method also involves the use of a synthetic scaffold which simulates the bladder's mechanical properties. The scaffold was created by Guillermo Ameer, professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

"I believe that we have developed a technique that can potentially be used in lieu of current bladder augmentation procedures." said Sharma, adding that they plan to continue improving the method.

Segment from a augmentation cystoplasty operation

Recent, related posts

Arun K. Sharmaa, Matthew I. Burya, Natalie J. Fullera, Andrew J. Marksa, David M. Kollhoffd, Manoj V. Raod, Partha V. Hotae, Derek J. Matokad, Seby L. Edasseryf, Hatim Thakera, John F. Sarwarkg, Joseph A. Janickig, Guillermo A. Ameerc and Earl Y. Chenga (2013). CO-TRANSPLANTATION WITH SPECIFIC POPULATIONS OF SPINA BIFIDA BONE MARROW STEM/PROGENITOR CELLS ENHANCES URINARY BLADDER REGENERATION. STEM CELLS


  1. Is it Possible to cure an Attonic Blader with stem cell

  2. The technique could also possibly be used for those suffering from outflow obstruction or hypocontractile bladders caused by bladder neck dysfunction after surgery, e.g. prostactomy or bladder neck reconstruction


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