Tissue engineering for the replacement of organ function in the genitourinary system

Anthony Atala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Acquired and congenital abnormalities may lead to genitourinary organ damage or loss, requiring eventual reconstruction. Tissue engineering follows the principles of cell transplantation, materials science, and engineering toward the development of biological substitutes that would restore and maintain normal function. Tissue engineering may involve matrices alone, wherein the body's natural ability to regenerate is used to orient or direct new tissue growth, or the use of matrices with cells. Both synthetic and natural biodegradable materials have been used, either alone or as cell delivery vehicles. Tissue engineering has been applied experimentally for the reconstitution of several urologic tissues and organs, including bladder, ureter, urethra, kidney, testis, and genitalia. Fetal applications have also been explored. Recently, several tissue engineering technologies have been used clinically including the use of cells as bulking agents for the treatment of vesicoureteral reflux and incontinence and urethral replacement. Recent progress suggests that engineered genitourinary tissues may have clinical applicability in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-73
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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