In this review, we discuss major advancements and common challenges in constructing and regenerating a neo-urinary conduit (NUC). First, we focus on the need for regenerating the urothelium, the hallmark the urine barrier, unique to urinary tissues. Second, we focus on clinically feasible scaffolds based on decellularized matrices and molded collagen that are currently of great research interest.
To discuss the major advancements in constructing a tissue-engineered NUC (TE-NUC) and the challenges involved in their successful clinical translation.
A comprehensive search of peer-reviewed literature from PubMed and Google Scholar on subjects related to urothelium regeneration, decellularized tissue matrices, and collagen scaffolds was conducted.
We evaluated the main biological and mechanical functions of urinary tissues, the need for TE implants to create a urinary diversion, the reasons for their failures in clinical settings, and the applications of decellularized tissue matrices and collagen-based molded scaffolds in their regeneration.
It is necessary to create a urine barrier that prevents urine leakage into the stroma that can cause failure of the graft. Despite the regeneration potential of the urothelium, the limited supply of healthy urothelial cells in patients with bladder cancer remains a major challenge. In this context, alternative strategies, such as transdifferentiation of cells into urothelium or engineered scaffolds based on decellularized tissues and molded collagen with robust urine barrier properties, are active areas of research.
There is an immediate need for developing a functional TE-NUC that can improve the quality of life of patients with bladder cancer. It is possible to achieve a TE-NUC by bioengineering an implant that has appropriate biological and mechanical properties to store and transport urine. We anticipate that future advancements in urothelium regeneration and material design will lead us closer to successful neo-urinary tissue constructs. Singh A, Bivalacqua TJ, Sopko N. Urinary Tissue Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities. Sex Med Rev 2017;X:XXX-XXX.
Sexual medicine reviews. 2017 Oct 21 [Epub ahead of print]
Anirudha Singh, Trinity J Bivalacqua, Nikolai Sopko
Department of Urology, The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; Departments of Surgery and Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD, USA., Department of Urology, The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.