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Study shows bone marrow stem cells may repair the urethra.

CHICAGO, Ill., October 20, 2016--Researchers here have developed a potential new strategy that may be used to correct hypospadias, a birth defect which occurs when boys are born with a urinary opening on the underside of the penis, found in up to one in every 200 boys.

Treatment involves surgical reconstruction with a graft using tissue taken from the inside of a child's cheek.

This approach is associated with multiple complications and sometimes requires repeated surgeries.

Using an animal model, scientists at Children's Hospital of Chicago have demonstrated that it can be feasible and effective to use a graft made from an individual's own bone marrow stem cells.

These stem cells were seeded onto a novel synthetic scaffold that is nontoxic, biodegradable and able to stretch and contract.

The resulting graft aided in the regeneration of the damaged tissue on multiple biological levels.

Using two unique populations of stem cells derived from the bone marrow, the researchers tempered the inflammatory response and avoided scar tissue. In addition, new blood vessels grew after the graft, which is important for tissue healing and growth.

One of the more important findings in this study is that the use of an individual's stem cells can decrease the scarring seen after surgery, suggesting that these cells can actually contribute to the ultimate success and outcomes of surgery.

The innovative use of these stem cell populations and scaffold material to repair the urethra is based on Sharma's earlier research in bladder tissue regeneration.

With this approach, a child would no longer need to suffer from complications of the current treatment for hypospadias.

Before it can be used in children, however, more studies in animal models are necessary, followed by future clinical trials.

Citation: Joceline S. Liu et al., "Bone Marrow Stem/Progenitor Cells Attenuate the Inflammatory Milieu Following Substitution Urethroplasty," Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 35638 DOI: 10.1038/srep35638


Contact: Arun K. Sharma,

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Title Annotation:Preclinical Research
Publication:Stem Cell Research News
Date:Oct 24, 2016
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