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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 11 (2011), Pages 2567-2578
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2011/323989
Review Article

Tissue Engineering of the Penis

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA

Received 10 July 2010; Accepted 27 August 2010

Academic Editor: Jeffrey Palmer

Copyright © 2011 Manish N. Patel and Anthony Atala. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Congenital disorders, cancer, trauma, or other conditions of the genitourinary tract can lead to significant organ damage or loss of function, necessitating eventual reconstruction or replacement of the damaged structures. However, current reconstructive techniques are limited by issues of tissue availability and compatibility. Physicians and scientists have begun to explore tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies for repair and reconstruction of the genitourinary tract. Tissue engineering allows the development of biological substitutes which could potentially restore normal function. Tissue engineering efforts designed to treat or replace most organs are currently being undertaken. Most of these efforts have occurred within the past decade. However, before these engineering techniques can be applied to humans, further studies are needed to ensure the safety and efficacy of these new materials. Recent progress suggests that engineered urologic tissues and cell therapy may soon have clinical applicability.