Bioengineering a vaginal replacement using a small biopsy of autologous tissue

Ryan P. Dorin, Anthony Atala, Roger E. Defilippo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many congenital and acquired diseases result in the absence of a normal vagina. Patients with these conditions often require reconstructive surgery to achieve satisfactory cosmesis and physiological function, and a variety of materials have been used as tissue sources. Currently employed graft materials such as collagen scaffolds and small intestine are not ideal in that they fail to mimic the physiology of normal vaginal tissue. Engineering of true vaginal tissue from a small biopsy of autologous vagina should produce a superior graft material for vaginal reconstruction. This review describes our current experience with the engineering of such tissue and its use for vaginal reconstruction in animal models. Our successful construction and implantation of neovaginas through tissue engineering techniques demonstrates the feasibility of similar endeavors in human patients. Additionally, the use of pluripotent stem cells instead of autologous tissue could provide an off-the-shelf tissue source for vaginal reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2011


  • autologous
  • Tissue engineering
  • vaginal replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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