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Urethras Grown at Wake Forest–6 Years Later Five Young Men Are Doing Fine

Posted Mar 09 2011 2:22am

One more amazing bit of technology from Wake Forest when you read about how the boys had to wear bags and now they live normal lives.  Samples from the bladders were taken and the urethras were grown on the scaffolds.  At the TED convention this year, Wake Forest printed a kidney on stage. 

This absolutely has to be one of the most exciting areas of medicine today as if we could eliminate transplants and there’s no rejection, many more lives could be saves and the five boys here were able to regain quality of life!  BD 

The video below is from earlier this year with Dr. Atala explaining how all of this is done, well worth the watch.  BD 

Five young men given urethra grafts engineered from their own cells are doing well six years later, according to a study published this week in the Lancet. The boys' own urethras had been severely damaged by illness or accidents. image

"When they first came in, they had a leg bag that drains urine, and they have to carry this bag everywhere they go. It's uncomfortable and painful. So these children were mostly sitting or bed-bound," Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, told NPR . "These children are now totally normal," he says. "They're running around and doing the things they usually do."

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