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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 154564, 13 pages
Review Article

Tissue Engineering of Urinary Bladder and Urethra: Advances from Bench to Patients

1Centre LOEX de l’Université Laval, Génie Tissulaire et Régénératrice, LOEX du Centre de Recherche FRQS du Centre de Recherche de CHU de Québec, Axe Médecine Régénératrice, Aile-R Centre Hospitalier Affilié Universitaire de Québec, 1401 18e rue, Québec, QC, Canada G1J 1Z4
2Département de Chirurgie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada G1K 7P4

Received 29 August 2013; Accepted 29 September 2013

Academic Editors: P. De Coppi and S. Wang

Copyright © 2013 Hazem Orabi et al. 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.


Urinary tract is subjected to many varieties of pathologies since birth including congenital anomalies, trauma, inflammatory lesions, and malignancy. These diseases necessitate the replacement of involved organs and tissues. Shortage of organ donation, problems of immunosuppression, and complications associated with the use of nonnative tissues have urged clinicians and scientists to investigate new therapies, namely, tissue engineering. Tissue engineering follows principles of cell transplantation, materials science, and engineering. Epithelial and muscle cells can be harvested and used for reconstruction of the engineered grafts. These cells must be delivered in a well-organized and differentiated condition because water-seal epithelium and well-oriented muscle layer are needed for proper function of the substitute tissues. Synthetic or natural scaffolds have been used for engineering lower urinary tract. Harnessing autologous cells to produce their own matrix and form scaffolds is a new strategy for engineering bladder and urethra. This self-assembly technique avoids the biosafety and immunological reactions related to the use of biodegradable scaffolds. Autologous equivalents have already been produced for pigs (bladder) and human (urethra and bladder). The purpose of this paper is to present a review for the existing methods of engineering bladder and urethra and to point toward perspectives for their replacement.