New Penile Tissue Regrown in the Lab
Sexual function can be restored for those with damaged penises by growing new penile tissues in the lab and implanting it.
For rabbits, that is.
The procedure conducted for the experiment started by extracting smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells from the penises of the animals. They are separately grown on rod-shaped collagen scaffolds, placed in an incubator and nourished by fluids. When the cells mature, the newly formed penile spongy tissue called corpora carnevosa are implanted surgically to the penises of the rabbits. The tissue will reconstitute itself as time passes by.
Dr. Andrew McCullough, director of male sex health, fertility and microsurgery at NYU Medical Center said that the outcome have been met with positive results. “It has a long way to go, but the researchers have basically shown they can take cells from an organ, culture them, put them back in and have them be functional.”
The rabbits were able to normally have an erection, do penetration and deposit sperms to the female rabbits. Study showed that 4 out of 12 female rabbits were impregnated.
Researches say that the technique can one day be implemented to treat severe erectile dysfunction in human males.