Tissue engineering of human bladder

Anthony Atala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


There are a number of conditions of the bladder that can lead to loss of function. Many of these require reconstructive procedures. However, current techniques may lead to a number of complications. Replacement of bladder tissues with functionally equivalent ones created in the laboratory could improve the outcome of reconstructive surgery. A review of the literature was conducted using PubMed to identify studies that provide evidence that tissue engineering techniques may be useful in the development of alternatives to current methods of bladder reconstruction. A number of animal studies and several clinical experiences show that it is possible to reconstruct the bladder using tissues and neo-organs produced in the laboratory. Materials that could be used to create functionally equivalent urologic tissues in the laboratory, especially non-autologous cells that have the potential to reject have many technical limitations. Current research suggests that the use of biomaterial-based, bladder-shaped scaffolds seeded with autologous urothelial and smooth muscle cells is currently the best option for bladder tissue engineering. Further research to develop novel biomaterials and cell sources, as well as information gained from developmental biology, signal transduction studies and studies of the wound healing response would be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-104
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • biomaterials
  • bladder
  • cystectomy
  • reconstruction
  • regenerative medicine
  • stem cells
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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